Tesla and its AutoPilot system have fallen under a lot of scrutiny lately with all of the AutoPilot-related accidents and subsequent investigations. To be blunt, the company has seen a lot of negative headlines lately. It even broke down and changed some wording on its Chinese website after a recent accident in China. But, despite all the negativity, neither Elon Musk or Tesla as a whole is backing down from pushing the AutoPilot system. That brings us to our topic of discussion today: AutoPilot 2.0.
Apparently, the system is already well into development, despite the fact that Tesla and MobileEye have gone their separate ways. According to the guys over at Electrek, the upgraded AutoPilot system will feature new radar sensors on each corner of the vehicle as well as a new front-facing, triple camera system. Of the three cameras, one will be a wide-angle camera used to scan all lanes ahead, another will be used to scan directly in front of the vehicle, and the third is a backup that can be used by the system in a pinch should there be an unexpected failure.
The new hardware will help push the AutoPilot system into the next stage, and will enable what Tesla is calling “level 3 autonomous driving.” For now, no production vehicles have been fitted with the new hardware, but some sources are reporting that new models already have the proper mounts and wiring, which means the option of retrofitting is a possibility in the future. Even when the new sensors and cameras are installed on production models, it isn’t likely that they’ll go into use right away. Tesla will wait until software is perfected, then roll out over-the-air updates to activate the hardware. With this new hardware, it could be possible for full autonomy to be activated with a future OTA update, but something tells me we still have a while to wait on that one.
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If electric car makers are to flourish in this highly competitive industry, then the cost of ownership needs to come down. Although, the electric car won’t replace conventionally powered cars any time soon, the high pace of the developments in electric car technology could one day allow automakers, like Tesla, to offer products at more affordable prices.
Tesla is now looking to spread its business into more mainstream cars for the masses, and this includes a midsize sedan that will be priced below the current Tesla Model S.
The new sedan, dubbed the Model, E will be revealed at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show with deliveries scheduled for early 2016. Chief designer, Franz von Holzhauzen, has told AutoBild that the midsized 3 Series competitor should be out in a years time. The new electric sedan is expected to be priced in the $30,000 to $40,000 bracket.
We are still awaiting more details about the upcoming Model E sedan. That said, we expect it to feature familiar Tesla styling with a wide oval grille and clean lines. The exterior and interior design would in all likelihood be influenced by the Model S which has now been widely accepted in the market.
Underneath, the new Model E could use a similar powertrain as the Model S. Batteries will be stowed away in the floor, and electric motors will drive the rear wheels. Tesla will almost certainly lower the output of the electric motor to help increase the overall range and lower the price.
Also helping lower the price, the Model E will likely have a few less interior features as the Models S.
We’ll keep an eye out for more information on the upcoming Model E, and bring you more information as it becomes available.
Click past the jump to read a brief overview of Tesla’s history.
(*Image Note: The above image is of the Model S, not the Model E.