That time Stevie Wonder wanted to test drive my Tesla... (video)
Just a fun anecdote about Steve Wonder and a Tesla, as told by Cedric the Entertainer to Conan O'Brien. I won't ruin the story by telling it here, but let's just say that the punchline might not be correct for very long, if you look at what Tesla has revealed here.
Indeed, you can see a demo of the 'Autopilot' feature in this video (starting around 40 seconds):
At first the Autopilot won't have full autonomy, but it's not too hard to imagine that over time, as hardware gets better, as more sensors are added to the car, and as the software gets smarter, that self-driving will be an option. And while this is all a joke in the video above, allowing vision-impaired people more autonomy could be a great benefit of self-driving vehicles, especially those living in more rural areas where there might not be much transit options, where things are too far away to walk to, and where the infrastructure isn't adapted.
Here's what we wrote at the time of the unveiling of this feature:
This hardware includes a radar looking ahead, cameras, and a 360-degree ultrasonic sonar. These give the vehicle awareness of its surrounding as illustrated below. Autopilot will be updated over time with software updates, but as of today, it can read speed limit signs and keep the car at the speed limit on the highway. It can also automatically change lanes if the space in the next lane is free after the drive asks it to by activating the turn signal.
Over time, Autopilot should be able to self-park, do parallel parking, automatically park in your garage, etc. It's easy to imagine that over time it'll become more and more autonomous, though just the "assisted driving" features could help with safety (such as notifying you of lane departure and such).