Model S Gets Autopilot and Dual Motors
There are several features that have been added to the 2015 Model S that most would refer to as traditional updates. Two, however, are not so traditional and we’re going to focus in on those.
The first update to the Tesla Model S is the newly released dual motor propulsion system. The dual motor propulsion system promises increased acceleration with optimum handling. In fact, Tesla’s press release calls the new P60D and P85D Model S (60 kWh and 85 kWh battery options) “the fastest accelerating four-door production car of all time” and promises that you don’t need professional driving skills to handle it. Breakthrough technology also delivers precision and unprecedented traction control in various weather conditions. Does this bring down the overall MPGe capacity? No. In fact, Tesla says that their new technology is performing slightly better than previous models.
With the new dual motor technology in place, another feature comes to the forefront. Autopilot! Autopilot hardware will come standard on all 2015 Model S vehicles. Tesla describes this new technology as “not to enable driverless cars, which are still years away from becoming a reality. Our system is… similar to systems that pilots use to increase comfort and safety when conditions are clear.” Though the autopilot feature will be hardwired, the software will be systematically introduced through over-the-air software updates.
Unfortunately for some, this hardware cannot be ordered and retrofitted to previous models. Here is some information from Tesla’s site stating when we can expect these new features to become available:
“Customers can order a Dual Motor Model S today. Deliveries of P85D begin in December for North America, to be followed 85D and 60D in February. Deliveries to Europe and Asia will follow in the months afterwards.”
Google has been testing autopilot for over a decade, as have several other companies, however many still remain skeptical. How safe is it? Elon Musk explains how radar, camera with image recognition and ultrasonic sensors work with maps and realtime traffic to create a smooth and safe autopilot experience. Watch the video!
Edit 12-3-14: In this post the Tesla Model S was incorrectly referred to as the P60D, when in fact it was simply 60D. However, Tesla has announced they are no longer offering the 60D in 2015.