Tesla is building self-driving and Self-Parking cars
There was a time in 1988 when every kid watched Knight Rider and envied Michael Knight for having KITT, a self-driving, fully conscious car. Around three decades later, Tesla Motors made KITT a reality. Today, Tesla offers cars that are self-driving and self-parking. These cars also come in models that wake up when the owner comes close and greets the owner like KITT in Knight Rider.
A Brief History of Tesla
Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning financed Tesla’s founding in 2003. It was Elon Musk who led the round of investment for Series A in 2004. He was also on the board of directors and functioned operationally, overseeing some of Tesla’s operational roles. At the same time, Musk was the controlling investor and funded a vast majority of the first series. What he wanted was to commercialize electric cars with premium car models.
It was also Musk who led funding for Series B and Series C in 2006. By that time, business giants like Google participated in the investment round, and Tesla had over $105 million in funding. By 2009, Tesla had only delivered 147 units of cars even after another financing of $187 million. It was on the brink of bankruptcy, but Toyota and Daimler AG (Mercedes-Benz) stepped in and saved it.
Today, Tesla has three models to offer: Model S, Model X, and Model 3. All of these models have a self-driving hardware, commonly called auto-pilot, which you only usually see in airplanes. All models can receive upgrades over the air. They are rated a 5-Star on safety.
A Big Update from Tesla
Tesla announced the self-driving update on October 14, 2016. Tesla offered the update online, which means the car owners do not have to go to the shop to install the software. Owners of Tesla are overjoyed about the update, knowing fully well that the upgrade will give them better driving experience.
In the new software, the drivers will get more information from the car while it is driving on auto-pilot. Part of the update allows them to lock and unlock their doors when in auto-pilot. Drivers must still keep their hands on the wheel due to regulations. State laws vary in the US, and the regulations are stricter in Europe, where Tesla has a large consumer base.
Once you grab or hold the wheel tightly, auto-pilot will turn off. Even if the steering wheel does not have a capacitive touch like smartphones do, it measures torque. The computer will send any light movement and let it know that there is a human behind the wheel.
A Quick Look at Tesla Models
Car accident attorneys, regulators, and auto industry insiders are still debating over liability issues in an accident that involves a driverless car. Nevertheless, the cars are already out in the market, even though their auto-pilot system is still awaiting a verdict from the government, who will be scrutinizing the system’s safety and reliability.
Model S is Tesla’s first product and the world’s first fully electric sedan. While other companies were busy producing hybrids, Tesla took the initiative to build a fully electric sports car. It is the car that changed the world’s perspective about electric vehicles, dispelling the myth that electricity cannot beat the power of fuel. The Model S is one of the safest cars in the world due to its low center of gravity, which minimizes the risk of rollover. After a series of tests, the Model S proved to be the car that will give the least injury to its occupants.
The Model X is the SUV model of Tesla. It is the world’s fastest and safest SUV. It has seven seats, falcon wing doors, and just like the other Tesla models, has a low center of gravity to prevent rollovers. The battery is on the floor, but it has no engine, making the front a huge crumple zone. Despite this, the Model X received a 5-star rating on safety tests.
The Model 3 is the most recent model to come out of Tesla’s labs. This model reflects Tesla’s master plan to replace fuel-guzzling vehicles with electric ones. Model 3 has range, safety, and a masterful design. The car can fit five adults and can compete with most high-powered sports cars. Model 3 can go from zero to 60 mph in less than six seconds, all powered by electricity.
Last Updated: 03-24-2017