Tesla sells “fully autonomous driving”, but what is it really?

Tesla did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Complaints about the FSD kit can be pale compared to concerns that people are being killed by misuse or issues in Tesla’s driver assistance technology. But they point to a common thread in Tesla’s approach to driving automation: The company is making promises that other automakers are backing down, and its customers believe their cars can do more on their own than they do. they really cannot.

“One of the downsides of automated technology can be over-dependence – people leaning on something they may not be able to do,” said Jason K. Levine, executive director of the Center. for Auto Safety, a non-profit organization that has watched the industry from the start. 1970s.

Other automakers are considerably more conservative when it comes to automation. Companies like General Motors and Toyota offer driver assistance technologies similar to autopilot and FSD, but they don’t market them as autonomous driving systems.

Backed by billions of dollars from major automakers and tech giants, companies like Argo, Cruise, and Waymo have been developing and testing autonomous vehicles for years. But in the short term, they don’t intend to sell the technology to consumers. They are designing vehicles that they hope to deploy in some cities as VTC services. Think of Uber without the drivers.

In each city, they start by building a detailed three-dimensional map. First, they equip ordinary cars with lidar sensors – “light sensing and ranging” devices that measure distances using pulses of light. As company employees drive these cars around town, the sensors collect all the information needed to generate the map, showing the distance to every curb, median and tree by the roadside.

Cars then use this map to navigate the roads on their own. They continue to monitor their surroundings using lidar and compare what they see with what the map shows, keeping a close track of where they are in the world.

At the same time, these sensors alert cars to nearby objects, including other cars, pedestrians and cyclists. But they don’t do it alone. Additional sensors, including radars and cameras, do much the same. Each sensor provides its own snapshot of what is happening on the road, serving as a check on the others.

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