The surprise Tesla announcement for last week was the fact that all of its models from now on will pack the advanced hardware needed for Level 5 – meaning fully autonomous driving.
But the company also said its cars won’t have those capabilities right away – with the software, for instance, not even ready for release. In addition, we also wondered what exactly changed, so let’s take a look. First off comes the Enhanced Autopilot, a better version of the semi-autonomous system, or the people will be able to go all the way up to specify the fully autonomous capable system. Meanwhile, all Tesla cars from now on will have the hardware (eight cameras, 12 ultrasonic sonar sensors, a forward facing radar, and a new onboard computer) for the latter fully autonomous capabilities. The car just decides what hardware to use based on your selected system.
According to Tesla, if you have the fully autonomous Tesla, you can just get in the car – tell it the destination – and the rest will be magically done without any assistance. If you say nothing, it will check your calendar and take you to the destination listed – if nothing’s there then it will simply take you home. The Enhanced Autopilto is $5,000 and the fully self-driving system will be $8,000 – the option to turn them on after purchase is meanwhile a tad more expensive, at $6,000 and $10,000 respectively. Tesla says the Enhanced Autopilot will become available starting December, while the fully autonomous capabilities don’t have a release date yet. You can even make money with your self-driving Tesla, though only on the company’s own mobility ride-hailing service that will become available alongside the fully autonomous cars – nicknamed Tesla Network.