Tesla Model S to get high-tech features including automated-driving functions

Article by Andrew Christian, on October 6, 2014

Tesla Motors Inc. will unveil a suite of new high-tech features including a system that can keep the car in its lane, a person privy with the carmaker's plans told Bloomberg. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk tweeted on Oct. 1 that the company will "unveil the D and something else," and posted a photo of a darkly lit Tesla and the date Oct. 9.

The addition of such features – which could help lessen the stress off drivers – is Tesla’s response to the continued used of similar functions by other luxury carmakers like Audi and Mercedes-Benz, as well as volume manufacturers such as Honda Motor Co.

Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule remarked that the carmaker commenced installing cameras in the Model S in September. It will feature forward facing camera behind the windshield that will allow safety technology required by regulators in Europe.

"More news to come," Sproule said without elaborating further. Carmakers –both premium and mass-market – are offering more and more automated driver-assistance features to entice more buyers, and such offerings are considered as a gateway to autonomous vehicles.

These features -- like self-parking, lane departure warning system as well as capabilities to tell drivers when another vehicle is in the blind spot and to keep a safe distance from a car in front – typically needs more sensors and computing power.

Musk disclosed in June that Tesla was going ahead with plans to install "auto-pilot" features, to its electric vehicles. He even said that a Tesla driver could go from highway on-ramp to highway exit “without touching any controls.”

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