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October 20, 2016

All Tesla cars to have self-driving hardware as Elon Musk sets 2017 autonomous vehicle goal

Tesla cars, including the Model 3, will have the hardware required for full self-driving capability.

By Alexander Sword

Tesla vehicles currently on the production line will all have self-driving hardware built in, the company announced, as it set new goals to produce fully autonomous vehicles by the end of 2017.

All models, including the Model 3 that will begin production in 2017, will have the hardware required for full self-driving capability.

This will include surround cameras, ultrasonic sensors and a forward-facing radar with enhanced processing power.


Tesla is building in hardware that will allow the vehicles to drive themselves.

Elon Musk, the CEO, also told journalists on a call that the company planned to have cars that can drive passengers across the entire USA without any human intervention.

The announcement was delayed when Musk said on Twitter that it needed “a few more days of refinement.”

Tesla recently received an order from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) in Germany to drop its Autopilot brand name. Autopilot is the name given to promote the company’s driver-assistance software, with the KBA calling the term ‘misleading’ and leading customers to have ‘incorrect expectations.’

Recently Tesla issued an update to its autonomous driving software that CEO Elon Musk claimed would likely have prevented a fatality that happened in May.

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The vehicles will include external cameras and sensors.

The update to the Autopilot system, Version 8, makes more prominent use of radar to process signals from the car’s surroundings.

Formerly the radar had been used as an auxiliary sensor to the vehicles’ main cameras. Radar was initially added to Tesla vehicles in October 2014 as part of the Autopilot hardware suite. In a blog post on its site, the company said that issues around radar, including potential over-sensitivity, had now been navigated.

Tesla said that radar will now be used as a primary control sensor without requiring confirmation from the camera. This will involve fleet learning, which will monitor the actions of other vehicles in response to a hazard and use this information to determine what the Tesla should do.

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