Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, has announced “the D”, a Dual electric motor version of the Tesla Model S, with autopilot features.
Recently, Musk announced in an interview that future Tesla cars will be able to drive with autopilot over 90% of the time. Now, we have much more information about the autopilot functionality.
On the most powerful version of the car, the Model S P85D, the second motor allows it to deliver 682bhp and 930Nm of torque. It’ll go up to 60mph in 3.2 seconds: an acceleration that matches that of a McLaren F1 and a full second faster than the previous Model S P85. “This car is nuts. It’s like taking off from a carrier deck. It’s just bananas,” said Elon Musk.
Despite the extra motor of the new Model S, making them all-wheel drive, the efficiency has actually increased. The P85D can now manage 275 miles on a charge compared to 265 miles on the standard P85, and the smaller 60kWh model can manage 225 miles, 17 miles more than the Model S version.
Its revolutionary autopilot functionality has a range of features, as well as a standard cruise control that would automatically slow down and stop based on the car in front. It can also change lanes when you use a turn signal and adjust your speed based on speed signs. It can also automatically brake, and if you steer into danger the wheel will resist, giving the driver some force feedback.
The car uses a combination of GPS, long-range forward-looking radar, an image recognition camera, and a long-range sonar to monitor the car’s surroundings. A full 360-degree view of the objects around the car can be seen on a screen on the dashboard.
Elon Musk says you can even get out of your car, and it will park itself in your garage by itself, including control of the garage door. He also adds that you can sync the car to your calendar, so it can prepare music and air conditioning. Your car can even meet you outside your house at a set time, ready to go. These entirely autonomous driving features can only take place on private property, presumably for legal reasons.
The autopilot cannot yet be fully relied on and regulations for self-driving cars are still being established, but Musk said that if you fall asleep while driving, the car should be able to get you home safely.
Below we can see a video of a test lap demonstrating the acceleration and some basic autopilot functionality.
The price of the 60kWh model will go from $71,070 to $75,070 for the dual motor system. THe 85kWh model goes from $81,070 to $85,070 and the P85 jumps from $105,570 to $120,170. This car may be out of your price range, however Elon Musk has teased about a more affordable Tesla Model III with an estimated cost of $35,000, planned for 2017.
Deliveries of the less powerful D models will start in February.