Still requires hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Last week, Tesla started rolling out its “Navigate on Autopilot” feature. For owners who purchased Enhanced Autopilot, the new feature, referred to as “an active guidance feature,” is available only on certain highways — the car will inform you if your current journey involves one of these roads but highlighting it in blue — and aids drivers specifically from “on-ramp to 0ff-ramp.” To explain how the new feature works, the company published an entry in its blog (reprinted below), along with two videos: one for the Model S and Model X (above), with its vertical screen, and one for the Model 3 (below).
Though the update still requires drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, it could take even more of the stress out of the driving experience. Tesla says the system, which leans on the vehicle’s eight external cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors, suggests lane changes which it thinks will make your trip faster, and lead the car onto the proper off-ramp.
While lane changes will require the user to initiate them at first using the turn indicator stalk, the car will eventually even take over this task, if desired.
Introducing Navigate on Autopilot
The Tesla Team October 26, 2018
Today in the U.S., we’re beginning to roll out our most advanced Autopilot feature ever: Navigate on Autopilot. Since introducing Software Version 9.0, Tesla owners with Enhanced Autopilot have driven tens of millions of miles to support the validation of Navigate on Autopilot, allowing us to collect performance and safety data at scale, based on real-world driving.
While initially the feature will require drivers to confirm lane changes using the turn stalk before the car moves into an adjacent lane, future versions of Navigate on Autopilot will allow customers to waive the confirmation requirement if they choose to. In both of these scenarios, until truly driverless cars are validated and approved by regulators, drivers are responsible for and must remain in control of their car at all times.
Navigate on Autopilot is an active guidance feature for Enhanced Autopilot that, with driver supervision, guides a car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting and making lane changes, navigating highway interchanges, and taking exits. It’s designed to make finding and following the most efficient path to your destination even easier on the highway when Autopilot is in use. While drivers should always be attentive when using Autopilot, stalk confirmation for lane changes allows us to ensure that drivers are paying attention at the exact moment they need to, and combined with the redundancy of eight external cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors, it provides an additional layer of safety that two eyes alone would not have.
To use Navigate on Autopilot, drivers must first enable Navigate on Autopilot and Autosteer in the Autopilot settings menu. If Navigate on Autopilot is available on a drive, it can be enabled by selecting the Navigate on Autopilot button in a destination’s turn-by-turn direction list. Once it is in use, our 360-degree visualization on the center display shows a single blue line indicating the suggested path of travel. There are two types of lane changes that Navigate on Autopilot will suggest – route-based lane changes that are designed to keep you on your navigation route, and speed-based lane changes, which are designed to keep your vehicle moving as close to your set speed as possible.
Navigate on Autopilot can be customized to a driver’s preferences, including four settings for speed-based lane changes (Disabled, Mild, Average, or Mad Max). When enabled, Navigate on Autopilot’s speed-based lane changes will suggest transitions into adjacent lanes that are moving faster, in the event that your vehicle is traveling slower than the set cruise speed (for instance, if you approach a slow-moving car or truck ahead). The Mild setting suggests lane changes when you’re traveling significantly slower than your set speed, whereas Mad Max will suggest lane changes when traveling just below your set speed.
Since we launched Autopilot in 2015, more than 1 billion miles of real-world driving data have been used to support the feature. Navigate on Autopilot is built exclusively for our Enhanced Autopilot platform, which includes a powerful onboard computer, ultrasonic sensors, radar, and external cameras that feed our Tesla-developed neural net. Advanced machine learning algorithms allow our cars to collect and process data in milliseconds. The future introduction of our Tesla-developed AI chip with our Full Self-Driving platform will allow the speed at which our system processes data to increase by an order of magnitude and take a meaningful leap toward our full self-driving future.
As more miles are collected with Navigate on Autopilot in use, we will continue to make it even more capable and efficient. Navigate on Autopilot will begin to roll out this week to U.S. customers who have purchased Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-Driving Capability. The feature will be introduced in other markets in the future pending validation and regulatory approval.
Source: Tesla, YouTube
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