You’ll have to watch the footage until the end because that’s when it gets really weird. The Tesla cars can already operate under some form of autonomy: self-driving in highways, adaptive cruise control, and automatic lane changes. However they haven’t fully achieved level-4 type of autonomy, which as defined by the Department of Transportation as “Fully Autonomous” and “designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip.”
Earth’s closest thing to Tony Stark, Elon Musk, announced on Twitter that “Tesla drives itself (no human input at all) thru urban streets to highway to streets, then finds a parking spot”
Tesla drives itself (no human input at all) thru urban streets to highway to streets, then finds a parking spot https://t.co/V2T7KGMPBo
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 20, 2016
They’ve also released the video proving it:
The end of the video showing the Tesla Model X dropping off its passenger, closing its own door, and automatically homing in on a free parking spot, is quite possibly the creepiest thing we’ll see today. Nay, maybe this year.
The simple act of a car driving itself on the highway under Autopilot mode was fairly unnerving to many people, just take a look at all the videos online of auto journalists getting freaked out as they traveled at highway speeds and witnessing the steering wheel as it turned on its own.
Now the car is capable of doing everything on its own, which implies a lot of things once the technology is fully matured:
- You can take your mind off driving, as the car, the sensors, and the rest of the electro-mechanical bits can behave as your personal Jeeves. This means you can rest easy or simultaneously work on that last bit of paperwork while driving home to your family.
- You don’t have to worry about parking anymore as it comes prebuilt with a Valet service. Clearly you can just get dropped off and forget about how far or how long it takes for your car to park itself.
- How far you live doesn’t matter as much, as long as you have sufficient battery power. Why pay so much more property taxes and higher rent to have a minimal commute when your commuting time can now be reserved for more sleeping/working/whatever you want to do time?
We’re curious how fully developed this prototype is, but before Tesla can fully rejoice in this phenomenal breakthrough, they still have to answer to some of the deadly accidents that occurred within the past year related to its Autopilot technology.