Tesla could offer hands-free highway driving in 2015

Tesla is expected to offer hands-free highway driving in its Model S in 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal. The prediction adds an introduction date to details that CEO Elon Musk disclosed Thursday. The system will include radar, cameras, and other features as part of a $4,250 optional technology package, the Journal reports.

The Thursday introduction included news of a forthcoming dual-electric-motor production vehicle as well as the safety and autopilot features. According to Tesla, “Every single Model S now rolling out of the factory includes a forward radar, 12 long range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car in every direction at all speeds, a forward looking camera, and a high precision, digitally controlled electric assist braking system.”

Tesla cautions, “Our goal with the introduction of this new hardware and software is not to enable driverless cars, which are still years away from becoming a reality. Our system is called Autopilot because it’s similar to systems that pilots use to increase comfort and safety when conditions are clear. Tesla’s Autopilot is a way to relieve drivers of the most boring and potentially dangerous aspects of road travel—but the driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required).

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