By: John Vallerand
Do you ever get tired of driving long distances? Would it be cool to be able to sit back, relax and be ready to go when you arrive at your destination? Well that dream is just around the corner thanks to the Tesla Motor Company. Tesla, as a lot of people know, is an innovative car company that offers a fully electric car called its Model S. The chief executive Elon Musk just announced that the new Model S is going to be equipped with hardware that enables autopilot.
The new Model S with autopilot features allows drivers to rely on the car in situations in which focus is lost. The new features include things like highway driving, gap control, stopping, emergency breaking, blind spot warning, collision warnings, parking, and according to Musk, with the new software update the cars can even be summoned and garage themselves through the use of a smartphone. Another issue that drivers face with the car being electric is the fear that they are going to run out of battery power. So a nice tool that’s going to be introduced with the release of the new software update is the ability of the car to monitor itself with trip management. This means that when traveling long distances the car will plan routes to hit charging station where needed to complete the trip.
Some of Tesla competitors like Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, and Honda have already launched features like the autopilot, where the cars can do highway driving, some cap control and collision features. Tesla is taking it one step further to the point where the car can be summoned and warmed up with the use of smart devices. The only thing I can see that poses a threat for the new car is the legal issue with states allowing self driving cars and the liability for insurance companies. As its clearly stated in the article, at this point in time, the self-summoning feature will strictly be allowed on private property. On the insurance end, in the situation of accidents, it’s going to be very unclear who’s at fault: the car or the person inside. Liabilities for this issue will need to be worked out with the insurance companies.
I believe this concept for the autopilot, overall, is great for Tesla. It’s good because people can get distracted when driving and this allows a good safety backup for those situations. It also opens up a new market that has been a dream for years to some people. Once this new service gets out this summer, I believe it’s going to impact all the major car companies to continue launching similar vehicle hardware and software.