Business / Auto China

Tesla offers automatic driving in 7.0 system

By Li Fusheng ( Updated: 2015-11-16 10:21

US electric carmaker Tesla Motors has brought automatic driving one step closer to reality by releasing its 7.0 in-car system.

The new system, which utilizes cameras, radar and 360-degree ultrasonic sonar sensors, enables the Model S to provide automatic driving features.

Drivers can activate the Autosteer function just by pulling back the cruise control on the steering wheel axle twice.

This keeps the car in its current lane, following the curve of a corner, while Traffic-Aware Cruise Control ensures the car maintains its speed and distance from a forward vehicle. Tesla still requires drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel when the feature is engaged, ready to take over if needed.

Another feature is Auto Lane Change, which makes lane changing a simpler affair. The driver simply engages the turn signal and the car will determine if the conditions are safe to do so before it moves itself to an adjacent lane.

The 7.0 system also makes the Model S capable of parallel parking itself. A "P" symbol will appear on the instrument panel when the car detects an appropriate parking spot. From there, the driver just needs to give a click on the screen, and the car will park itself by controlling steering and vehicle speed.

Of course, the system doesn't convert the Model S into a self-driving vehicle that can operate independently without human input, so drivers shouldn't just go hands-free behind the wheel.

The owners will receive the pushed notice in their car, which can be downloaded for set up from a 3G or Wi-Fi network. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk came to China late last month to promote the new system.

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