Tesla Shows Massive Self-Driving Progress in New Autopilot Hardware 2 Footage

Tesla has decided to update the world on how its Autopilot Hardware 2 system is doing, offering us a video that shows a Model X handling traffic on its own.
Tesla Autopilot Hardware 2 demonstration 4 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Tesla Autopilot Hardware 2 demonstrationTesla Autopilot Hardware 2 demonstrationTesla Autopilot Hardware 2 demonstration
Yes, the driver's seat is occupied, but the guy behind the wheel is there strictly for legal reasons, never actually touching the controls of the car. And this demo shows Tesla is making serious progress in the field of allowing humans to rest while their cars handle all the work.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Autopilot Hardware 2 (more on that below) is the way in which it easily distinguishes signs from traffic lights.

As expected, the second incarnation of the system still has enough "skills" to master, with the footage showing a few moments of hesitation. For instance, it detects a jogger using the outer part of the sidewalk, considers it a potential issue and stops in the middle of the street (0:54).

However, the car does seem to have a different set of priorities when it comes to the dog that risks jumping onto the road at the 1:23 point.

The Hardware 2 tech details

As the carmaker has previously announced, any vehicle exiting its factory gates in Fremont, California starting October 19, packs the required hardware for the maximum-level autonomous driving.

To be more precise, Teslas now come with 8 cameras, a forward-scanning radar and 12 high-range ultrasonic sensors.

The second incarnation of the system means that, aside from the features of the system's first version (lane change, adaptive cruise control and self-parking with Summon), the Palo Alto carmaker aims to offer the possibility to drive across the country without the driver being required to take action.

The system is not active yet, with Elon Musk explaining an over-the-air update will deliver it by the end of the year. And once regulatory guidelines allow the complete introduction of self-driving cars, Teslas will be able to operate as Level 5 fully autonomous vehicles.

Meanwhile, Tesla-owned test vehicles are being deployed, while customer cars, which run the feature in a passive shadow mode, have an extremely strong impact on the system's learning abilities.

Returning to the pieces of footage we have here, the first video below is the one Tesla delivered, but since this is sped up, we added a second clip underneath it. The latter is slowed down four times, providing an approximation that's much closer to the real-world driving speed.

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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