The next iteration of Tesla’s Autopilot system will reportedly require a lot more detection hardware.
According to anonymous sources who have spoken to Electrek, the updated hardware suite will include radar units at each corner of the vehicle, as well as a new forward-facing triple camera setup.
It’s said that in time and with further software updates, this combination of hardware and software will be able to deliver level three and level four autonomous driving capabilities.
In a level three self-driving car, drivers will be able to safely take their eyes off the road when the car is in control, but may still be required to intervene in emergencies. For a level four autonomous vehicle, drivers will able to switch their minds off the task of driving when the car is set into self-driving mode.
Above: Tesla Model X.
The current Autopilot system, in contrast, uses a single forward-facing camera, a forward-facing radar, and ultrasonic sensors. With the present software, Autopilot is able to keep the car in its current lane, maintain safe distance to the car in front or a preset speed, and perform lane changes at the driver’s request.
It’s not entirely clear when the Autopilot 2.0 software will begin appearing in customer vehicles, but it’s understood that some of the hardware may slated for introduction into production vehicles soon.
Some behind-the-scenes components, such as new wiring harnesses and plastic cut outs to house the camera setup, have already been rolled out into recently made cars.
That said, other upgrades, such as new internal communications systems and beefier processors have yet to find their way into production Model S and Model X vehicles.