Tesla co. wants you to take your hand off the wheel, foot the gas and let him do the driving. On Wednesday at a press conference, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, announced that every new Tesla will be fully capable of driving itself.
The company said that it’s Model S and Model X electric cars are already being produced with the new hardware, which includes eight cameras, 12 updated sensors, and radar with faster processing. It will be able to match the car’s speed to traffic conditions, automatically change lanes without driver input, drive from one freeway to another, and even exit the freeway when your destination is near.
The new “Enhanced Autopilot”, a more advanced version of the current Autopilot system, is a $5,000 option on the Model X and the Model S at purchase, rising to $6,000 if you enable it after delivery.
On the Other hand, there’s “Full Self-Driving Capability,” which will cost $3,000 at delivery or $4,000 later. It requires Enhanced Autopilot and will, according to Tesla, eventually allow the car to drive itself in all conditions. The car will be able to drive itself to your destination, wherever it is, determining the optimal route and handling everything from stop signs and traffic lights to roundabouts and streets without lane markings. Then it’ll be able to drop you off at your destination and go find a parking spot.
Musk said he expects that by the end of 2017 a Tesla would be able to drive in full autonomous mode from Los Angeles to New York “without the need for a single touch” on the wheel.