Before yesterday, I thought I had a pretty good idea what the endgame was for AutoPilot 1.0 and it was:
TACC would improve due to more effective use of RADAR to detect stationary objects
Some unnecessary braking would be removed as the result of fleet learning about overhead road signs
AutoSteer would be more reliable through improvement in its algorithms and through fleet learning
AutoSteer would be able to take a freeway exit analogous to the current lane change feature
AutoSteer would be able to make a freeway exit under navigation (8.1)
That list is an abbreviated version of the Tesla blog post, "Seeing the World in Radar"
Elon Musk has said that Autopilot was reaching its limits under the current hardware, and my expectation has been that the features announced for Firmware 8.1 describe what those limits are. I also had the expectation that the current Autopilot would come out of "beta" and that drivers could have the expectation that, barring some anomaly in the road or traffic, lane keeping would always work (no more "ping pong," no more "truck love," no more surprise lunges, and no more indecision cresting a hill), and TACC wouldn't run into anything. I also had the expectation (maybe the hope) that Summon would become at least as smart as AutoPark and do more than just back in straight.
Now that Autopilot 2.0 hardware is entering the fleet, are those assumptions still valid?
The Enhanced Autopilot feature, according to Tesla, "adds new capabilities to the Tesla Autopilot driving experience" and describes its features to include:
Your Tesla will match speed to traffic conditions, keep within a lane, automatically change lanes without driver input, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway when your destination is near, self-park when near a parking spot and be summoned to and from your garage.
What, if any part, of the Enhanced Autopilot feature will existing Autopilot customers get? Obviously we'll keep the ability to match speed to traffic, and keep within a lane. I am assuming that the ability to change lanes "without driver input" will not be available because the current sensor set can't detect a fast approaching car in the passing lane. How about transition from one freeway to another under navigation? No, because that's requires merging into a traffic stream which current sensors can't handle. Exit the freeway when your destination is near? That exactly what we were promised for 8.1 (exit a freeway under navigation).
I just wanted to get the discussion going on what you think the limits of AutoPilot 1.0 are and what you think we'll be seeing over the coming months.