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Video: This is what it’s like to have your Tesla drive you around by itself

Updated 8 years ago
Published Oct 10th, 2014 12:36PM EDT
Tesla Model D Auto-Pilot Video
Image: Tesla

Elon Musk on Thursday unveiled a new Tesla model, the all-wheel drive D variant of the Model S that packs two electric motors and is able to deliver faster speeds and even better battery efficiency than the standard Model S. But the hidden trick of the D, and the regular Model S now as well, is a new autopilot system that can offer many advanced features to improve security while driving, even though it’s far from being a fully autonomous pilot.

FROM EARLIER: Forget all-wheel drive, speed and battery efficiency, this is the Tesla D’s coolest new trick

Slashgear took the Model S P85D version for a test drive, and both its amazing acceleration and autopilot were demoed.

The D can reach 60mph in just 3.2 seconds, as seen in the following video, but the most interesting feature of the car is the complex autopilot that uses a radar; an image recognition camera that can read signs, traffic lights and observe pedestrians; a 360-degree ultrasonic sonar; and smart software that can analyze all the data coming from these sensors and combine it with real-time traffic and GPS navigation data.

In its demo, Tesla showed the audience what it’s like to let the car drive by itself. Once enabled, the auto-pilot can keep the car in its lane even through turns, change lanes when the driver signals left or right, observe speed limit signs and adapt the speed accordingly (by either increasing or decreasing it), and come to a full safe stop when a car, or other object, is detected.

Slashgear’s video showing the D test drive follows below.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.