Motoring / Cars and Bikes

Updated Tesla Masterplan, Nissan Autodrive

While one battles falling consumer confidence and lack of knowledge, another enters the world of autonomous cars.

Jul 14, 2016 | By Vimi Haridasan

Plagued by the bad press and an investigation into two crashes (one of which was a tragic accident that resulted in a fatality), Tesla is set to update its “secret masterplan”. Announced by founder Elon Musk, the electric car company is planning to update the roadmap that was first established in 2006.

The South Africa-born entrepreneur has been battling regulators and critics these last few weeks, with regards to the Autopilot program. Though still in “beta” testing mode, the program is under scrutiny as many may have actually misunderstood the functions and limitations of an autopilot system. However the company has no plans to disable the system — one that is thought to be the most advanced driver-assist system available to consumers.

Some consumer feedback and understandable worry with the faults in the system are linked to how the Autopilot program is unable to recognize cars that are stationary on the roads. Some feel that the system has given drivers a false sense of security in thinking that the car will drive itself — resulting in drivers not watching the road. With 130 million miles under its belt, the Autopilot function is now being analysed by Telsa Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States.

Partially Autonomous Driving System by Nissan

Partially Autonomous Driving System by Nissan

While Tesla grapples with its issues and consumer doubt, another car manufacturer announced a similar system being introduced to its minivans. Called the ProPilot system, the program is still a long way off from being openly called a self-driving anything. The technology by Nissan relies on an internal camera that determines the location of the vehicle. “The point is it’s not fully autonomous driving, but driver assistance technology, so it can’t handle everything for you,” Hideyuki Sakamoto, a Nissan executive vice president, told reporters Wednesday.