While one of my goals for 2016 is to learn how to drive, Tesla has taken things a step further is showing off how its Model S car will drive itself and even parallel park.
In what looks like it could be the company’s first ever TV ad, you can see how the Model S’ Autopilot features can be used to full advantage. All you have to do is hit the Summon button on your phone and the car can start itself, pull out of the garage and wait for you to hop in outside.
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Once you’re on the road, the car will manage the driving using an array of sensors and programs. It can navigate the curves on the road, follow the flow of traffic, detect if a car in the next lane is about to overtake you or gets too close, change lanes with one tap and at the end of your journey, it will even park for you.
One thing to note is that for the entire duration of the promotional video, the driver never takes his hands off the steering wheel. This is probably a safety precaution.
Tesla has said in the past that despite its cars’ capability for complete autonomous driving, there will have to be limitations in order to avoid people becoming careless and putting themselves or other people on the road in danger.
There have been some minor bumps along the way in the testing phase of driverless cars and almost all of these have been the drivers’ fault, so it is a valid safety precaution.
Videos online tried to say Tesla’s Autopilot feature was unhinged and causing accidents but a closer look at the videos showed that the drivers were the ones at fault.
Tesla’s Autopilot isn’t fully available yet but Model S cars have received some over-the-air updates that allow them to experience some autonomous driving features like automatic steering, lane changing and speed control.
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