Tesla updates its Autopilot (8.0) to see the world through radar


From October 2014 all vehicles Tesla equipped with a system of radar as part of the hardware necessary for the operation of your Autopilot, though so far it was a secondary sensor, which supplemented the information obtained by the main camera of the car. Now, however, the radar takes center stage and becomes the main system of the automatic pilot to create a real image of the surroundings of the vehicle, leaving the cameras as a secondary support.

After this update 8.0 of the software, the radar is the primary system for the Autopilot, although one of the biggest challenges of using this type of sensor is to avoid false alarms. And is that the way in which the radar views the world is very particular. The photons of this wavelength can travel through fog, dust, rain or snow without a problem, but anything metal is like a mirror. The radar can detect people, but they appear half-translucent. For its part, something of wood or of painted plastic and is almost as transparent to radar as the glass for us.

Any metallic surface circular amplifies the signal of the radar, increasing its size several times. A soda can on the asphalt can seem like a dangerous object. "Paste to a halt is critical if you are to hitting an object large and solid, but not if you're going to spend over a mere can of soda, "says Tesla. Everything happens for better and more detailed digital images, as well as more information about the objects.

Tesla Autopilot 2 

The second important aspect of the process is the combination of all these radar images, taken every hundredth of a second, to create a 3D image of the environment. By comparing different images of frames continuous the car can know the speed and trajectory of another vehicle or object, and determine if there is a real danger or if there is a likelihood of a collision.

Another important point of this update is the learning by the fleet, that is to say, the exchange of information between all the models Tesla with Autopilot, capable of recognizing obstacles and other type of events on the road and to report on this to the database of Tesla. Mostly serves to identify it as safe some objects that may seem dangerous (like a sign on the motorway, in a change of grade may seem an obstacle in the pathway).

According to the californian company, improvements in the detection of objects -with radar signals and be able to go beyond the vehicle that precedes us - and in the prevention of accidents allow that "if a UFO lands on the road in conditions of zero visibility, the vehicle will apply the brakes correctly". Come on, if the car in front hits the UFO, the Tesla will not do that because it will be detected despite having an obstacle (another car) in between.
In Motorpasión | information given by Tesla to its customers about the use of the Autopilot in the crosshairs of the NHTSA
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