We demonstrate Autopilot on the 2016 Tesla Model S P90D during our Tech of the Year award testing. Autopilot enables self-driving in some situations by using onboard cameras, radar and 360-degree sonar to evaluate traffic and road conditions. In our experience, Autopilot still has a few bugs to work out.
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[00:09] Hey, this is Adam Morath for Autoblog, and we are in the 2016 Tesla Model S P90D, so that's the high performance version of the Model S. Of course, a recent software update added some really high tech features to already probably the most high tech car in the market--you can certainly make the argument.

[00:26] In addition to Ludicrous Mode, which is going to really just send you flying from a standing start, something that's gotten a lot of press and publicity is the Autopilot mode, which allows automated driving. You have cameras that are taking in the speed limits, that are finding the lanes, and the car takes over the steering for you. It can also take over lane changes. We wanted to demonstrate that for you today. We're up in Northern Michigan doing our Automotive Technology of the Year award testing and these roads are actually really smooth, really well marked, so it's a good test case, just sort of to get a baseline for if this technology works well or not.

[01:08] You can see on the giant touchscreen here, we have the vehicle settings up, the driver assist settings. Auto lane change is on, auto-steer is kind of grayed out, but you can see that it's toggled to on, and there's a little gray wheel up on the smaller screen right in front of me. That's letting me know that Tesla has found it's way in the lane markings and is ready for auto-steer to take over. If you wanted to do that, all you do is you take the cruise control stock and you pull it towards yourself twice fast. Here we go. All right, so auto-steer has taken over. It actually took over right as a second lane came about, so that's kind of a good test right there to see if it was going to keep the lane I was in. I will say that's the only thing that I've experienced really, is when there's a pull-off, sometimes it gets a little confused by that, a passing lane. Supposed [00:02:00] to say keep your hands on the wheel, but just to demonstrate, I'm sort of hovering, and now we're going to turn on the blinker. You can see it kind of over-corrected a little bit there, but it made the lane change without me having to tell it what to do.

[02:19] Now here's one of those pull-offs where it kind of edges over to the right a little bit, but, hey, it kept me in my lane. I didn't need to take over the wheel and correct. If you find yourself in a situation where you don't really trust that it knows exactly what's going on with the road, like for instance here, I probably would've already headed over, and it gets there eventually, but that's not maybe the most natural behavior for the vehicle, but if you do find yourself in a situation that's maybe not safe, you need to take over, just like any other cruise control system where you can tap the brake, it'll turn the system off. You'll hear a chime when I do that or you can fight the steering a little bit and you hear the chime and now I've taken over again. If I want to start it again, just pull the stock towards me twice on the cruise control and away we go.

[03:09] What's really cool and forward thinking is that Tesla had all the hardware ready to go in the Model S's that they were shipping. They were ready for self-driving as soon as they got the software right. Then the update came over the air and one morning, Tesla Model S drivers wake up to a car that can drive itself.

[03:28] That's auto-pilot with the Tesla Model S and I have to say, I came away very impressed. It's not 100% of the way there yet. You can't read the newspaper on your commute and I wouldn't totally trust it in every situation or if I didn't have very clear lane markings, but that might just be my bias. I haven't tested it on any other lanes except these up here that again are smooth and clearly marked. Clearly, self driving cars are on the way, if they haven't arrived already. For autoblog, I'm Adam Morath [00:04:00].
Related Video:
2016 Tesla Model S P90D Ludicrous Mode | Autoblog Short Cuts

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