Last night, Tesla announced that it would equip all of its new vehicles with the hardware necessary for fully autonomous driving, and a new video shows just how this technology performs on real roads.
Set to an odd selection of music (The Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black”), the video shows a Tesla Model X autonomously making turns on city streets, stopping at traffic lights, and roaming freely on the highway. None of these maneuvers require any intervention from the driver.
“The person in the driver’s seat is only there for legal reasons. He is not doing anything. The car is driving itself,” a disclaimer at the beginning of the video reads. The man’s hands are poised near the steering wheel the entire time, until he exits and allows the autonomous Tesla to park itself.
Tesla says its upgraded Autopilot system is capable of Level 5 automation, the highest tier defined by the SAE, as opposed to Level 2 autonomy that was offered on the previous Autopilot. The new Autopilot Hardware 2 is equipped with an onboard computer that boasts more than 40 times the computing power of the previous unit. Eight surround cameras, 12 updated ultrasonic sensors, and upgraded forward-facing radar will help new Teslas operate autonomously even in harsh weather conditions.
Although Tesla is currently selling vehicles equipped with the new hardware, the features haven’t yet been activated. Tesla plans to log millions of miles testing its new tech before eventually enabling the autonomous features over-the-air.