Video Depicts Tesla Autopilot in the Wake of Its Incredible New Milestone
Tesla Autopilot has cruised past an incredible new milestone. Elon Musk’s electric car company announced Wednesday that Tesla owners have collectively driven one billion miles with the advanced driver-assistance system switched on.
That means that Musk’s Autopilot software — available with Models 3, S, and X — has travelled the equivalent of a circle around the globe 40,159 times, or, to give a more celestial frame of reference, almost double the distance to Jupiter.
At present, autopilot remains level two out of five on the car autonomy scale, which is like a type of higher-performance cruise control. It’s best used on the highway where it can match your speed with traffic, switch lanes, and even take an exit turn under certain conditions. But while impressive, these kinds of systems still require that the driver be fully vigilant the entire time with their hands on the wheel.
This doesn’t take away from the impressive level of adoption this feature has garnered, especially since it costs $5,000 extra on any of the supported vehicles. Musk has stated that with the most recent Version 9 Autopilot update, his cars are well on their way to becoming fully autonomous over the course of a few years.
Though it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, Tesla’s milestone dwarfs the miles logged by Google’s Waymo, which recently announced its self-driving cars have driven 10 million miles. But keep in mind, Waymo’s system strives for fully autonomous and is only tested in certain parts of the United States.
Nonetheless, Tesla has given tens of thousands of consumers access to cutting edge technology that is a stepping stone towards self-driving cars. And they seem to be loving it.