Tesla Motors has announced that every car it now builds comes ready with the hardware needed for fully-autonomous driving.
The American automaker is a strong believer that full autonomy will make our roads much safer. To that end, every single one of its vehicles, including the highly-anticipated Model 3 sedan, will come standard with eight 360-degree cameras that can “see” for about 275 yards, 12 ultrasonic sensors, a forward-sensing radar, and a more powerful on-board computer that’s better able to process all necessary data.
New Model S and Model X already come with the hardware, but buyers will have to wait a while for the arrival of the software that makes it all work. Moreover, current Tesla owners will not be able to upgrade their vehicles with the new, autonomous-ready hardware, though the company will continue to improve and fine-tune the existing Autopilot technology.
CEO Elon Musk has expressed confidence in Tesla’s new fully-autonomous driving technology, predicting that a Tesla should be able to self-drive from Los Angeles to New York without any driver input by the end of 2017.
The software will launch as an $8,000 option, a notable premium over the $3,000 price of the brand’s existing Autopilot software.