On what appeared to be just an average fall night in Los Angeles, Elon Musk revealed some not-so-average news around the “Tesla D,” the model he hinted about via Twitter last week. According to Musk, there will be three versions, and each will carry the “D,” to distinguish them from the rear-wheel-drive Model S.
While Tesla failed to announce the driverless car that many had expected, it did roll out a bunch of new driver-assistance and safety features, including things like the car being able to read speed-limit signs and adjust its velocity, signals that make the car change lanes, and lane-departure warnings. In addition, Musk even noted that additional features over time, combined with these recently announced ones, could serve almost like “auto-pilot on an airplane.”
The new suite of safety and driver-aid features will now be equipped with a forward-mounted radar, a camera and 12 sensors, each of which will be able to “see” 16 feet to enable the safety tech. Now, Tesla drivers will be able to get out of their vehicle on private property — like a driveway — and watch it park itself in the garage. When drivers are ready to leave, the car will able to drive itself up, with the car’s temperature and stereo system set to the driver’s preferences. It also connects to your digital calendar so it knows when it’s needed.
“It will come to you wherever you are,” Musk tells USA Today‘s Chris Woodyard. “It will slowly make its way to you.”
During the briefing, Tesla shared that it will also have “hopped-up version” of its Model S that features all-wheel drive and goes 0 to 60 mph in just about three seconds. Despite not unveiled a self-driving car, Musk did, however, dub the system “a huge improvement that is taking the technology to the next level.”
Musk told USA TODAY in a recent interview that his favorite car is the super-fast McLaren, a high-price, low-volume production car with racing attributes. Musk believes the quickest Tesla will be able to go toe-to-toe with the McLaren’s 3.2-second sprint to 60 mph.
“It’s like having your own personal roller coaster,” the Tesla CEO says.
The P85D is expected to begin shipping to customers in December, with reports claiming the starting price will be around $120,000. Two additional all-wheel drive models, the 60D and 85D, are projected to arrive in February 2015.
Cars are getting smarter, becoming more electrical and autonomous with radar and sensing that can automatically intervene for performance and safety. No stranger to next-gen vehicles, watch the video below as Rob Valiton discusses the future of the automotive industry and how Atmel’s solutions are helping power this market.