Thursday, 29 October 2015

Auto & Technology: Tesla Model S Firmware v7.0 in Hong Kong X SCMP X Charged Hong Kong

My hands made the front page on SCMP
Image from Locky's English Playground
Thanks to Charged Hong Kong chairman Mark Webb-Johnson's referral, I was invited for a video interview and demonstration of the latest autopilot capability in the firmware v7.0 on my Tesla Model S. Never knew this article would make the front page on South China Morning Post (SCMP) the next morning, so it is really a great honour for me.

Autopark on release note
Image from Locky's English Playground
Operating Autopark
Image from Locky's English Playground

It was a fine Monday morning on 26th October, great day for test drives. SCMP journalist Naomi and videographer Vicky arrived at 10am for the setup, then off we went from Kornhill to Lei King Wan where there were ample parked cars and a few available parking meters for the Autoparking demo. It was not easy because I did not want to block the traffic behind me and get honked in the video, so I had to park on the sides in order to autopark on the sides. Funny huh? It was my first time to use Autopark and that was completed in one go! Looking at the steering wheel and the car performing parallel parking at speed, it was just pure awesomeness!

Image from Locky's English Playground
The latest v7.0 Autopilot comes with the original Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) and two new features called Autosteer and Auto Lane Change. For TACC, I can basically use it almost everywhere in Hong Kong and it has already been perfected again and again.

Autosteer (Beta)
Image from Locky's English Playground
It was the latest Autosteer (Beta) that I have to pay more attention to. Although this feature will improve in accuracy with time and usage as the car 'learns' from each other, it was only day 2 since its arrival in Hong Kong and there was limited data for the learning. Therefore, I must not do anything more than the release note has mentioned.

"Autosteer is designed for use on highways that have a center divider and clear lane markings.  It is also appropriate on other kinds of roads while in slow-moving traffic. It should not be used on highways that have very sharp turns or lane markings that are absent, faded, or ambiguous."

On the Island East Corridor (IEC) towards Causeway Bay, lanes were hardly clearly marked, so I had to be selective in order to follow the instructions in the driver's manual well.

Image from Locky's English Playground
In this trip, I wasn't able to perform Auto Lane Change because for one thing, IEC was having road construction that morning and closed the far left lane and I did not expect the queue to be that long on the immediate second lane until I have missed the end of the queue, for another, when I applied the turn signal, other drivers quickly accelerate to fill up the gap. Typical Hong Kong drivers, afraid to lose out even a few seconds. Unlike in Okinawa Japan, they slow down the car to welcome you into the lane!!!

Side Collison Warning
Image from Locky's English Playground
On the way back from SCMP head office in Causeway Bay to Kornhill, the traffic was way better! Performed Auto Lane Changing at my fingertips left to right, right to left several times. The product is beautiful! Vicky did an excellent job!

I must say Naomi's reports are fair too, also a great piece of work! Would be better had the webmasters not forgotten to put it up on the SCMP website. Luckily, I got hold of a PDF version so I can share here:

Charged Hong Kong made the front page on SCMP today. Have you got a copy? #ChargedHongKong #Tesla #EV #HongKong #Autopilot
Posted by Charged Hong Kong on Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Food, Travelling & Living: Food And Fun Of Okinawa -- Day 4 @ Locky's English Playground

'Hands-free' driving in Hong Kong: Tesla begins road-testing 'autopilot' mode, government yet to approve, SCMP takes it for a spin @SCMP

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Insurance a legal grey area in Hong Kong for all-electric Tesla car's new Autopilot system @SCMP

Can Tesla's new 'autopilot' system work in crowded Hong Kong? We take it for a test drive +YouTube

Charged Hong Kong made the front page on SCMP today. Have you got a copy? ‪#‎ChargedHongKong‬ ‪#‎Tesla‬ ‪#‎EV‬ ‪#‎HongKong‬ ‪#‎Autopilot‬ @Facebook