Tesla Model S turns 20
And it can see around corners
The car that started the electric vehicle revolution, the iconic Tesla Model S, was launched on this day in 2009, which makes it officially 20 years old, and no longer a teenager. As we’ve come to expect from Elon Musk, the new ‘S.20’ edition has a few enhancements which will make driving not only more fun, but a whole lot safer.
Full Self Driving or FSD is now old hat, and a Tesla can literally drive itself almost anywhere, without too much trouble. Except when the weather is particularly bad, like in a blizzard or hurricane, when the car’s computer reckons it’s just not safe to drive at all. Even radar and lidar imaging systems have their limits!
But now the Tesla can see around corners, thanks to a holographic camera, and artificial intelligence. It can also see what’s behind that truck that’s blocking your view. The Model S active camera system emits a specially tuned wavelength of invisible light, bouncing it off walls and surrounding objects, and recording the holographic pattern of the reflections. These are then decoded by the AI on the fly, to determine the shape and position of cars, people, and other objects around the corner, or behind the truck.
It’s like the driving system has X-ray vision, or a 3D bird’s eye view of the road ahead. It can sense unseen objects, and predict their course and speed, and adjust accordingly. And we all know how quickly Tesla can perform a life-saving maneuver.
What’s more, holographic radar can see through fog and driving rain too, and with the entire windscreen acting as a heads-up display, you get a clear, augmented reality view of the road ahead, no matter the weather conditions or actual visibility.
Now that it’s turned 20, the Tesla Model S can almost see the future!
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