Tesla Autopilot’s Upcoming Shift To Radar Could Have Prevented Fatal Model S Accident, Elon Musk Says

In a conference call, Musk claimed that with the improved radar system of the technology, Autopilot would be able to see large metal objects across the road and determine if the object does or does not pose a threat.  One of the main challenges to using radars combined with cameras for Autopilot is how to prevent false positives, as a high number of such would lead to an unappealing experience of the vehicle braking too often for the wrong reasons. To address this, Tesla Motors will implement a more detailed point cloud, use that point cloud to determine if an object is moving and therefore a threat to collision, and utilize fleet learning to determine objects that are safe to drive through such as bridges and road signs. Musk thinks that the Autopilot improvements will significantly increase the safety of passengers, though he added that road accidents will likely not be gone for good.

“Perfect safety is really an impossible goal,” Musk said. “There won’t ever be zero fatalities. There won’t ever be zero injuries.”