New Tesla model adds self-driving autopilot

Oct 12, 2014, 7:50 PM | Updated: Apr 24, 2015, 8:06 pm

In the future, your car may be able to drive itself, thanks to Tesla’s new “D” model.

Tesla D was introduced on Oct. 9, 2014. The announcement ended a week of speculation following a cryptic tweet from CEO Elon Musk that said, “About time to unveil the D and something else.”

Taking the stage at an unveiling event with more than 1,000 Tesla fans in the audience, Musk explained that the D stands for “dual motor.”

The current Model S is a rear-wheel-drive car with one motor. The D will have two motors — one powering the front wheels and one powering the rear wheels. Tesla models 60D, 75D, and P85D are newer versions of S with advanced features such as extra traction and increased performance.

Musk said unlike all-wheel-drive systems on gas-powered cars, which tend to be heavy and make the cars less efficient, Tesla’s system improves the speed, acceleration and mileage by optimizing which motor is used.

The dual motor version of the P85 performance sedan will have a top speed of 155 mph, compared with the current 130 mph. It will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, akin to exotic sports cars.

Musk also talked about one of D’s most exciting new features, the ability to drive itself, as seen in a new Youtube video that has almost 1 million views. SlashGear says the autopilot feature is not exactly what you might think.

The Model S won’t drive itself and allow you to take a nap in the back seat, but it does have a smart lane-change system which will automatically move across a lane when you hit the blinker – assuming there’s nothing already occupying it.

Cameras in the car will be able to track road signs and identify the current speed limit, adjusting the cruise control to match. There are also plans for blind-spot warnings and self-parking.

Tesla recently passed over Arizona in favor of Nevada when determining the home of its new “gigafactory.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

APS

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New Tesla model adds self-driving autopilot