All Tesla Cars in Production to Have Self-Driving Hardware
Tesla announced Wednesday that all Tesla vehicles being produced have the hardware needed for fully autonomous driving. The hardware’s safety capability is alleged to be at a level “substantially greater” than that of a human driver. The announcement comes after a significant drop in Tesla shares and scrutiny over the Autopilot software already installed in existing Tesla models. Tesla’s current Autopilot will be replaced by a new onboard computer that holds 40 times the computing power of previous generations, capable of processing the new tech’s enhanced software.
Eight surround cameras will provide 360-degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range, complimented by twelve ultrasonic sensors. An upgraded forward-facing radar provides “sight” through heavy rain, fog, dust, and even vehicles ahead of the car. The features have not yet been activated, as further calibrations need to be made. However, the Model S and Model X with the hardware are in production and available to purchase.
The first-generation Autopilot hardware in new vehicles will be disabled temporarily, including automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control, while these features are validated with the new hardware. Those, and an expanded set of new features, will be enabled over the air when testing is concluded.
Nissan Acquires 34% Stake in Mitsubishi Motors
Nissan Motor Company completed its acquisition of a 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors Thursday. Nissan is now the majority stockholder of the company, and folded Mitsubishi into the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The newly formed alliance will be in the world’s top three automotive groups by volume, with sales of 10 million units in fiscal year 2016.
The alliance will collaborate on joint purchasing, deeper localization, leveraging developed and existing markets, plant utilization, common vehicle platforms, and technology sharing. More than 450,000 employees now fall under the leadership of Nissan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn. He will act as Chairman for Mitsubishi as well as continue his role as Chairman for both Nissan and Renault.
Read the full press release here.
Sorry Uber Drivers; Tesla Self-Driving Cars Only Allowed to Carry Paying Customers via Tesla Network
In more Tesla news, a disclaimer on the Tesla website advises owners that using Tesla’s autonomous vehicles for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network. The ridesharing network was included in Elon Musk’s Mast Plan, Part Deux, suggesting that a Tesla owner could use a phone app to generate income with the use of their car. However, further details about the program will most likely not be released until next year.
The language of the disclaimer does not appear to keep owners of first-generation Teslas from driving for ride-sharing companies like Uber or Lyft.
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