Tesla Motors Inc on Thursday took its first step toward automated driving, unveiling features that will allow its electric sedan to park itself and sense dangerous situations.
The company also said it will roll out an all-wheel drive option of the Model S sedan that can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds yet doesn't compromise the vehicle's efficiency.
The car is like having a "personal roller coaster," Tesla CEO Elon Musk joked after making the announcement at the packed event in Hawthorne, California.
Tesla's announcement had been eagerly anticipated since Musk last week tweeted that it was "about time to unveil the D and something else."
Onstage on Thursday, Musk said "D" stands for "dual motor," meaning Tesla's all-wheel drive vehicle will have a motor at either end of the chassis to increase control.
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In addition, Musk said that the Model S cars that are rolling off the line today already have the hardware for what he called "autopilot." The features include a long-range radar, image recognition so the vehicle can "see" things like stop signs and pedestrians, and a 360-degree ultrasonic sonar.