We’ve already talked about the new Tesla self-driving technology that is going into every new Tesla car that is produced. This tech will allow the owner of the Tesla car to complete a fully automated road trip using level 5 autonomy. That means no human interaction is needed other than entering a destination for the car. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has unveiled a video that shows a Model S as it drives itself and looks for a place to park, he tweeted a few details about what the car is doing in the video.
Musk writes about the video that, “Tesla drives itself (no human input at all) thru urban streets to highway to streets, then finds a parking spot.” He also notes that when the car is searching for a parking spot it reads the signs to see if it is allowed to park there. This means that the car will avoid parking spots for disabled persons.
I would hope that the car has some sort of tech to allow it to park in the disabled spot if the driver is disabled. Musk says when you want your car to return to pick you up, you tap Summon on your phone. According to Musk the car will eventually find you, even if you are on the other side of the country. I guess finding you on the other side of the country would really depend on someone being available to plug the car in.
Musk does address that no human charging issue with a short video that shows off a charger prototype he calls the “automated solid metal snake charger.” That automated charger will go a long way towards allowing the car to be truly autonomous for more than the distance a full charge allows. All new Tesla cars rolling out of the factory will have this tech and this might push people who already own a Tesla to buy a new one. Musk says retrofitting the tech to an existing Tesla is more costly than buying a new car. Tesla plans to demonstrate a completely self-driven cross-country road trip next year.