Jeeves, can you set the Tesla Model S to autopilot please? Thanks.
Although these technologies have been readily available on a few passenger car for quite some time, none has received quite the attention that Musk has been able to throw its way. According to a couple of announcements via Twitter from Elon Musk earlier today (July 31, 2015) self steering on the highway as well as self parking are all but ready to be thrown at Tesla Model S owners via an over-the-air update soon. Additionally, Tesla Model S’s will learn to adapt to changing road conditions that might alter how the Tesla sees the white painted line on the side of the road as a guide marker for steering the car. Check out the official tweets below. (It would also behoove you to check out Musk’s profile picture, a callback to early Bond films and Austin Power villaian Dr. Evil)
Early dissenters at the whole announcement quickly cite the fact that cars like the Ford Escape can already parallel park on their own in addition to the Mercedes S-Class which can already steer unassisted on the highway. It should be noted that oftentimes the best technologies attributed to one manufacturer aren’t always the first ones to implement them. Variable Valve Timing with two distinct cam profiles (not to be confused with cam phasing or standard variable valve timing) was in use well before 1989 but Honda was the one to market it well enough where people usually associate variable cam timing with VTEC, although BMW and Nissan had systems in place well before Honda. Few people can rattle off the acronym for Nissan or BMW’s cam timing system but probably thanks to F&F, everyone knows what ‘VTEC kicks in means.’ The same goes for these technologies. In business, it’s not who came to market first, but who actually makes a profit. Thanks to over-the-air programming, it looks like Musk will take the auto-pilot and self-parking crown.