When Tesla announced that every car they produce is now coming out of the factory with full self-driving hardware, I was a little stunned. I figured the relatively easy highway stuff was one thing, but that navigating towns, cities and crosswalks would be another. Nevertheless, while it's true that they'll have to wait for legislators to get their acts together before rolling it out, Tesla has achieved fully self-driving cars that can navigate within complex environments.
In this real-world demonstration video, a guy takes a ride to work (to a Tesla facility, naturally) while his car does all of the driving. It navigates a town environment, tons of traffic and twisty roads while avoiding pedestrians:
While we're only shown three camera views, Tesla's system uses eight cameras that provide a 360-degree view. The camera footage is combined with sonar and radar to provide a "neural net" that "provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses."
One temporary setback is that Tesla's updated system doesn't yet have the "experience" generated by their last-generation system. This means that, temporarily, new Tesla owners will actually have less capabilities than first-gen owners. As the company explains:
Before activating the features enabled by the new hardware, we will further calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving to ensure significant improvements to safety and convenience. While this is occurring, Teslas with new hardware will temporarily lack certain features currently available on Teslas with first-generation Autopilot hardware, including some standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control. As these features are robustly validated we will enable them over the air, together with a rapidly expanding set of entirely new features. As always, our over-the-air software updates will keep customers at the forefront of technology and continue to make every Tesla, including those equipped with first-generation Autopilot and earlier cars, more capable over time.