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How Tesla’s Autonomous Cars See the World

by Paul Strauss

We already know that every new Tesla rolling off the assembly line includes the hardware necessary for full Level 5 autonomous driving. However, the capabilities have yet to fully roll out to car owners as the software must still be fully tested, and any regulatory hurdles must still be cleared. That said, Tesla wants us to see just how far their autonomous capabilities have come, and shared a really cool video demo of the systems in action.

The time-lapse clip shows a Model S with full self-driving hardware as it makes its way through traffic, dealing with bikes, pedestrians, other cars, twisty turny roads, intersections, and a variety of roads on what appears to be a pretty foggy day. In addition to showing off the car’s aplomb, we get to see what three of the vehicle’s cameras “see” including object, street light, lane marker, and road sign detection.

It’s an impressive demonstration for sure, though I’d be curious to see how the system handles more challenging situations, like poorly marked roads, bad drivers in other vehicles, nighttime, or snow.

P.S. If you look carefully around the 1:59 marker, you’ll notice a mystery vehicle beneath a tarp. We’re guessing this is another Tesla test mule of some sort.

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