Some Model S owners may share my curiosity about just how accurate the ultrasonic sensors and software are on the Tesla. If you are driving at 60 miles an hour alongside a cement road-divider, or if you are planning to do a lane change in close proximity to cars in your target lane, you want to know you can rely on those sensors to prevent disaster.
While I have never had reason for serious concern about the autopilot features, the new perpendicular parking feature gives me the opportunity to check sensor performance at low speed and close range.
I tried to find a parking space that was so narrow that I would not be inclined to try it myself. In this case that was mainly because even if I managed to get into it, I would not be able to exit the car. It was only an experiment to see if the Tesla would attempt it, and if so, how it would perform.
My 85D did the job beautifully. The speed was between 1 and 2 kilometer’s an hour. Once in the spot, it adjusted its positioning by exiting again to a point to achieve exact alignment to the spot, and then entered again.
Besides performing flawlessly, the car gave the impression of absolute certainty as it maneuvered and this gave me comfortable confidence. From this experience I am confident that the sensors will keep me safe at faster speeds and in complex environments, since this test shows excellent awareness of quite complex maneuvering in a confined space.
Tesla Autopilot Video Demos
- Video overview of Tesla ‘summoning’ feature
- Watch Tesla Autopilot parallel park with precision
- How does autopilot react to disappearing lane markings?
- What happens when you ignore Tesla Autopilot warnings?