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Tesla and BMW offer self driving features

Tesla has pushed out an over the air Autopilot update to Model S vehicles. Model S sedans built after 2104 have been equipped with the necessary hardware for self steering but it hasn't been active, till now. The new features now enabled on the Tesla Model S are exactly the same as what comes on the 2016 BMW G12 7 Series. Is Tesla feeling the pressure from BMW?

While BMW's nomenclature lacks the Elon Musk 'Autopilot' flair the features are a 1:1 match. Both cars sense road marking and assist in keeping the vehicle between the lines. As I experienced on my test drive the 7 series lets you take your hands off the wheel for up to 15 seconds while cruising down the road at up to 130 mph. If someone pulls out in front of you the 7 Series slows and dutifully follows along. On wide open roads the feature does show some limitation, but in stop and go traffic it would be a sanity saver.

Side by side: Tesla Model S vs. BMW 7 Series - Which would you choose?

More about the BMW 7 Series Active Driving Assistant
A stereo camera and front and side radar sensors to detect lane markings, preceding vehicles or approaching side or rear traffic. At speeds up to 130 mph they provide comfort-enhancing steering assistance to help drivers stay in lane or follow the preceding vehicle. The various systems can also help prevent collisions with approaching side or rear traffic during a lane change. The Traffic Jam assistant also ensures more relaxed, stress free driving in stop-go traffic. This semi-automated driving function provides comfort enhancing steering assistance whenever the driver has at least one hand on the steering wheel.

Read more about the BMW 7 Series

How the BMW 7 Series Parking Assistant works
New generation BMW Parking Assistant The new version of the optional Parking Assistant makes light work of selecting and maneuvering not just into parallel parking spaces but now also into perpendicular parking spots. It controls the entire maneuver into the parking space, including all the necessary steering, gear-shifting, acceleration and braking operations. Active Park Distance Control also assists the driver during manual reversing maneuvers. If needed, this feature autonomously brakes the vehicle helping prevent collisions with obstacles to the rear of the vehicle.
 

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The G series 7er upon release has the exact same 15 second hands free driving mode as the new 2014+ MB S class. The 15 second hands free has been on the new S class since 2014. I demo'd it at launch of new S on a highway quick zip .

Tesla Autopilot goes significantly more distance than the G and the S.
http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-car...rst-ride-almost-as-good-as-a-new-york-driver/

"Unlike seemingly every other automaker offering semi-autonomous driving today, Tesla's system does not deactivate if the driver takes his or her hands off the wheel. The system will flash a warning prompting the driver to take over if there's a situation that Autopilot can't handle. If that doesn't happen-say, on a long, well-marked, sparsely-populated interstate-a driver could theoretically cruise for hours down the highway without ever being prompted to grab the wheel."

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/your-autopilot-has-arrived
 

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I don't know about the G12, but our S550 has two steering modes. In slower traffic (like NYC), MB has a stop'n go pilot which fully steers the car for hours without the need of ever touching the steering wheel.
Camera-wise, it locks on the car in front instead of highway markings. The normal steering assist does require touching the steering wheel every 15 sec or so.

This is based on European law and the Tesla in Europe will have to do that as well.
 

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Right - I suspect that the reason tesla doesn't enforce the 15 second rule is that they currently lack the hardware to do so (steering wheel with sensor)
 

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Tesla owners are ignoring autopilot safety advice and putting the results on YouTube

http://www.theverge.com/2015/10/21/9589724/tesla-autopilot-videos-youtube-safety-advice-ignored

"Both drivers shown in the videos admit they ignored safety advice, removing their hands from the wheel and testing the Autopilot features off the highway. They won't be the only ones ***8212; more videos of Tesla drivers misusing the cars' self-driving functions are likely to surface when Autopilot gets regulatory approval in Europe and Asia, and when they roll out to the company's other vehicles. But while these examples suggest a dangerous future where cars willingly steer drivers to their doom, self-driving cars may actually be safer than regular vehicles in the long run ***8212; Google said in May that during six years of road tests, its self-driving cars have only been in 11 accidents, none of which were the car's fault."
 

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and when you hit something the courts and your insurance company will blame the car company and not you? I don't get this semi self driving. it seems like it is fertile ground for lawyers to make lots of money
 

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and when you hit something the courts and your insurance company will blame the car company and not you? I don't get this semi self driving. it seems like it is fertile ground for lawyers to make lots of money
Maybe eventually. This is just advanced cruise control - clearly the drivers responsibility.
 
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