Which Tesla Model S has an autopilot?

Tesla autopilot (Germany): function allowed? What can and should the Tesla autopilot do?

With the Tesla autpilot, the US electric car manufacturer is setting standards on the path to automated driving. All information on the function and the question of what is allowed in Germany at all.

The Tesla autopilot has so far been the measure of all things when it comes to autonomous driving - and at the same time controversial. The function is made possible by the use of eight cameras, which provide 360-degree all-round monitoring of the vehicle environment - and that at a distance of up to 250 meters. In addition to three cameras arranged behind the windshield, it also includes a 120-degree fisheye lens, a main field, a telephoto camera and a rear camera, as well as front and rear side cameras. In addition, there are currently twelve ultrasonic sensors that are supposed to detect "hard" and "soft" objects. In addition, a forward-looking radar penetrates thick rain, fog, dust and vehicles ahead in order to provide additional data about the surroundings. The data collected in this way are broken down and evaluated by an on-board computer. This is how the processing software developed for the Tesla autopilot is ultimately directed. AUTO ZEITUNG explains what functions the Tesla autopilot has and whether its use is even permitted in Germany.More on the topic: Tesla factory (Gigafactory) near Berlin

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Porsche Taycan / Tesla Model S in the video:

 

What does the Tesla autopilot enable and what is allowed in Germany?

So far, the Tesla autopilot, which is available for all of the manufacturer's new models, includes an automatic emergency brake, a collision warning system and a steering and lane change assistant, as well as a function that should enable the vehicle to be automatically parked and called up (as of July 2020). In addition, the overtaking process should also be initiated automatically when the vehicle flashes. Next, the electric car manufacturer's cars are to be given a software update that allows the autopilot function to recognize traffic lights and signs. According to the company, an automatic stop and start function should also be included in the scope. The system does not take into account driving errors by other road users: inside or road-related hazards. The current autopilot functions require active monitoring by a driver; autonomous operation of the vehicles is not possible. Officially, this corresponds to autonomous driving at level 2. Whether the autonomous driving functions can be used in the future without monitoring depends above all on whether a reliability can be guaranteed that exceeds human ability. There is still a long way to go before then: In addition to further tests over several billion kilometers, the corresponding legal framework conditions are also required. By the way: Tesla's autopilot can do more in the USA than in Germany and the rest of Europe, which is mainly due to the stricter regulatory requirements. While drivers in this country have to exert pressure on the steering wheel every 15 seconds in autopilot mode, in North America a significantly longer period of time or hands on the wheel are allowed. Although licenses for driver assistance systems that enable semi-autonomous driving are also required in the United States, in some cities, such as San Francisco, cars are already allowed to drive semi-autonomously in urban areas. And the robo-taxis from the Google subsidiary Waymo have also been on the road for a long time on individual American roads.

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Problems with Tesla's autopilot functionality

The problems with the Tesla autopilot start with the name: Critics are of the opinion that it falsely arouses the expectation in many drivers that the cars would actually drive completely autonomously and as a result they grossly overestimate the system. This has already led to a number of accidents. However, safety precautions should recognize whether a: e driver is: in behind the steering wheel and whether this: r can take over the wheel at any time. But according to a report by the US consumer magazine Consumer Reports, in April 2021, Ingenieur :innen was able to start the autopilot in a Tesla Model Y despite an empty driver's seat. The vehicle should not have given any warnings or instructions. A fatal accident with a Tesla Model S is said to have occurred with an empty driver's seat. The Munich District Court I came to the conclusion in July 2020 that Tesla had spoken too much when advertising its cars and forbade the electric car manufacturer to advertise with the term "autopilot". The chamber also banned some other advertising statements in connection with autonomous driving. The competition headquarters had previously complained that Tesla had given the impression, among other things, that its cars with a driver assistance package "could and should drive autonomously until the end of 2019". However, Tesla cannot fulfill this at all because the cars are neither technically driverless nor legally allowed.

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