Tesla to boost radar as it tries to improve Autopilot safety

Autopilot in the current Tesla Version 7.0 software

Tesla is looking to enhance the capabilities of the existing radar in its vehicles to boost the safety of it's Autopilot feature. The safety upgrades will be part of the Tesla range's next major software update, Tesla Version 8.0.

"The most significant upgrade to Autopilot will be the use of more advanced signal processing to create a picture of the world using the onboard radar."

The automaker's vehicles currently use the primary camera and image processing system ahead of the in-built radar. The radar has been fitted in the automaker's vehicles since October 2014, and had been a supplementary sensor until now.

Tesla said the challenge with the radar sensor was overcoming the high number of "false alarms" the radar had been producing. Due to their concave design, dish-shape objects like soda cans were reflecting back to the vehicles' radar sensor as being large and dangerous. Co-founder and CEO Elon Musk said the company was able to overcome the issue without requiring new hardware by better utilizing the current sensor, developing an improved algorithm for interpreting the live-radar data and learning from fleet data.

The Tesla Version 8.0 software is not to be confused with the rumored Autopilot 2.0 feature we reported on last month. Autopilot 2.0 will be a new feature requiring additional hardware.

No release date was given by Tesla for Version 8. However Elon Musk teased in a press conference that, "we are maybe one of two weeks away from rolling out to all our customers".

Source: Tesla via BBC News

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