Tesla has won Germany’s prestigious Connected Car Innovation (CCI) award for 2019, with the electric car maker’s Navigate on Autopilot feature being dubbed as the best innovative automotive solution at this year’s carIT Congress at Frankfurt.
To win this year’s CCI award, Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot had to outdo other advanced driver-assist capabilities from more experienced car manufacturers. According to carIT’s official website, other nominees for the CCI award this year included BMW’s back-up assistant, Lexus’ digital side-view monitors, Audi’s bottleneck assistant, and Mercedes-Benz’s AR-Navigation and Energizing Coach. Each feature was then evaluated by a jury of specialists.
The CCI award is granted based on the results of the Connected Car Innovation Study, an annual analysis that assesses the “performance and innovation strength” of carmakers in the field of vehicle connectivity and mobility services. The study also takes the market strength of OEMs into account, as well as each company’s relevant service innovations. These metrics make Tesla’s win particularly impressive, considering the company’s young age compared to its rivals.
Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot is arguably the company’s most advanced driver-assist feature to date, allowing vehicles to perform a complete highway on-ramp to off-ramp maneuver. While requiring driver input when changing lanes in its first iterations, later updates to the function introduced unconfirmed lane changes, allowing Tesla to take a step towards CEO Elon Musk’s goal of achieving Full Self-Driving.
Similar to its standard Autopilot features, Navigate on Autopilot is trained by Tesla’s neural network, which taps into real-world driving data collected from the company’s fleet of vehicles. During the company’s Autonomy Day event last April, Tesla revealed that it was seeing about 100,000 automated lane changes from Navigate on Autopilot users every day. This number has likely risen since then, considering the number of vehicles that Tesla has sold in the months following the event.
Initially rolled out as part of Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot package when it was released, Navigate on Autopilot has been moved by the company to its Full Self-Driving suite, which is expected to be feature complete in the near future. Another FSD feature that is poised to be released soon is Smart Summon, which will allow Tesla’s electric cars to navigate a parking lot to pick up their owners. Smart Summon is expected to be part of Tesla’s upcoming V10 update.
Navigate on Autopilot is currently available in several regions, including key markets such as the United States and Europe. The feature, which is accessible on Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles, has become quite a favorite among owners in China, as it offers drivers a more comfortable, safer way to weather highway travel.