Tesla Autopilot 2.0 a Step Closer to Autonomous Driving

Tesla Autopilot 2.0 is reportedly coming soon, and it will feature a new front-facing triple camera array and additional radar to achieve level 3 autonomous driving.


As expected, Tesla is moving forward with its Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system, and new details have emerged about the next-gen Autopilot 2.0.

The fine folks at Electrek are reporting that Autopilot will soon get a major upgrade. Autopilot 2.0 will reportedly feature a new front-facing triple camera array and additional radar around the car. According to the report, Autopilot 2.0 will also keep the front-facing radar used in the current version.

According to Electrek, Autopilot 2.0 will achieve level 3 autonomous driving and could potentially achieve level 4 fully autonomous driving in the not-too-distant future.

Although Tesla and Mobileye ended their partnership on the development of Autopilot systems, the report said Autopilot 2.0’s front-facing triple camera system is “likely based on, but not part of, Mobileye’s Front-facing Trifocal Constellation.” Tesla Autopilot uses the Mobileye EyeQ3 processor to provide image analysis intelligence.

On its most recent earnings call, Mobileye CTO Amnon Shashua briefly discussed why the partnership with Tesla is ending. He suggested
that there are concerns about the reputation and safety of Mobileye’s technology. While he didn’t specifically mention it, this is a reference to the fatal Autopilot crash earlier this year that killed 40-year-old Joshua Brown.

Tesla said Autopilot failed to identify a trailer because it was white and it didn’t recognize the contrast with the bright sky. Mobileye said its technology was never designed to handle the scenario that led to the fatal crash. It says the EyeQ4 will be able to detect this type of situation.

The fatal crash, and a couple other incidents, have led to intense scrutiny about Tesla Autopilot. Consumers Reports has urged Tesla to disable Autopilot, saying “consumers should never be guinea pigs for vehicle safety ‘beta’ programs.”

There’s no timetable for the release of Tesla Autopilot 2.0, but CEO Elon Musk recently said improvements to this system would be coming “sooner than people think” and that it “will blow people’s minds.” Musk’s Master Plan, Part Deux, even includes Tesla self-driving trucks and buses, both of which are in the early stages of development and should be unveiled some time in 2017.

[Source:] Electrek




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Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
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Comments

Tom Carroll · August 17, 2016 · 6:24 pm

    Elon Musk is certainly open to the latest and proven technologies for his Tesla line of vehicles, though he has yet to implement LIDAR into the vehicles, possibly due to the aesthetically unpleasing large ‘lump’ that would be required for a LIDAR of sufficient power to attain sufficient range.  Yes, this technology is shrinking in both size and cost, but, as you reported: “Autopilot 2.0 will reportedly feature a new front-facing triple camera array and additional radar around the car. According to the report, Autopilot 2.0 will also keep the front-facing radar used in the current version.”
    I do believe the cause of the fatal crash was primarily the driver’s fault- he was speeding over the speed limit and he did not follow Tesla’s strict admonishment of a driver keeping their hands on the steering wheel at all times, and, most importantly,  keeping their ‘eyes upon the road ahead.’  Had he even glanced up and upon the road, he quickly would have realized that his Tesla was rapidly approaching a large, white trailer directly in front of him.  I don’t believe he even braked. 
    Yes, the camera could not distinguish between a bright, sun-lit side of a trailer and a bright, white sky.  There was a radar backup that probably saw the ‘approaching’ trailer sign and the computer ‘assumed’ that this was just another large sign over the road giving driver information about the road ahead.
    Now, looking at the radar.  Radar antennas and retroreflector ‘dishes’ have a hard time producing a beam small enough to only have the front lobe of the beam cover just a few degrees to the front, and, therefore, not see the large signs.  It requires just the opposite of what one might think to have a reflector focus a beam into a small angle,- a small, focused beams requires a large reflector, whereas a larger beam can use a smaller reflector ‘dish.’  Millimeter (higher frequency) radar above Ka and Q bands (40 to 60 GHz and above) can use a smaller reflector and result in a very ‘pointed’ beam that would ignore elevated road signs.  I operated an antenna test range for Rockwell for a number of years and found the above information useful when we needed to test the GPS satellite bodies by manipulating the mockup satellite in all axes.
    Musk has brought forth world-class technology that was just impossible a few years ago,- 250+ mile range electric vehicles, reliable autonomous add-on to the vehicles, space launch vehicles that are not only as good as the expensive NASA-designed products, but much better in many cases and some cost-effective power systems for home and industry. Tesla will solve the ‘glitches’ and improve the ‘Autopilot’ systems for autonomous vehicles, and, as he has stated, the NHTSA has rated the Tesla S higher than its normal 5.0 top rating, - 5.4.  Yes, a person died and there have been several wrecks, but look at any other automobile that has hundreds of thousands of miles ‘under its belt.’  Tom Carroll


Tom Carroll · August 17, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Elon Musk is certainly open to the latest and proven technologies for his Tesla line of vehicles, though he has yet to implement LIDAR into the vehicles, possibly due to the aesthetically unpleasing large ‘lump’ that would be required for a LIDAR of sufficient power to attain sufficient range.  Yes, this technology is shrinking in both size and cost, but, as you reported: “Autopilot 2.0 will reportedly feature a new front-facing triple camera array and additional radar around the car. According to the report, Autopilot 2.0 will also keep the front-facing radar used in the current version.”
    I do believe the cause of the fatal crash was primarily the driver’s fault- he was speeding over the speed limit and he did not follow Tesla’s strict admonishment of a driver keeping their hands on the steering wheel at all times, and, most importantly,  keeping their ‘eyes upon the road ahead.’  Had he even glanced up and upon the road, he quickly would have realized that his Tesla was rapidly approaching a large, white trailer directly in front of him.  I don’t believe he even braked. 
    Yes, the camera could not distinguish between a bright, sun-lit side of a trailer and a bright, white sky.  There was a radar backup that probably saw the ‘approaching’ trailer sign and the computer ‘assumed’ that this was just another large sign over the road giving driver information about the road ahead.
    Now, looking at the radar.  Radar antennas and retroreflector ‘dishes’ have a hard time producing a beam small enough to only have the front lobe of the beam cover just a few degrees to the front, and, therefore, not see the large signs.  It requires just the opposite of what one might think to have a reflector focus a beam into a small angle,- a small, focused beams requires a large reflector, whereas a larger beam can use a smaller reflector ‘dish.’  Millimeter (higher frequency) radar above Ka and Q bands (40 to 60 GHz and above) can use a smaller reflector and result in a very ‘pointed’ beam that would ignore elevated road signs.  I operated an antenna test range for Rockwell for a number of years and found the above information useful when we needed to test the GPS satellite bodies by manipulating the mockup satellite in all axes.
    Musk has brought forth world-class technology that was just impossible a few years ago,- 250+ mile range electric vehicles, reliable autonomous add-on to the vehicles, space launch vehicles that are not only as good as the expensive NASA-designed products, but much better in many cases and some cost-effective power systems for home and industry. Tesla will solve the ‘glitches’ and improve the ‘Autopilot’ systems for autonomous vehicles, and, as he has stated, the NHTSA has rated the Tesla S higher than its normal 5.0 top rating, - 5.4.  Yes, a person died and there have been several wrecks, but look at any other automobile that has hundreds of thousands of miles ‘under its belt.’  Tom Carroll


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