Tesla Model 3 release date, news: Upcoming vehicle to come with 'full self-driving capability'

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Tesla continues to look towards the future as the company continues to innovate its current and upcoming vehicle lineups. In a new blog post, Tesla said that as of Wednesday, Oct. 19, all Tesla vehicles produced in their factory including the highly anticipated Model 3 will have a full self-driving feature.

The vehicle’s full self-driving capability is touted to be “at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.” This feature will provide 360-degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range with the use of eight surround cameras. The new technology will also detect if objects are within the vicinity of the car with the help of 12 updated ultrasonic sensors. For added safety, a forward-facing radar with enhanced processing will provide additional data which will make the car capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust, or even the vehicle ahead.

It was said that Model S and Model X vehicles with this new hardware are already in production, and those who are interested can make their purchase today.

In a press call, CEO Elon Musk said (via the Daily Mail) that buyers can choose between two options, and this would be “either basically an improved Autopilot or self-driving.” Musk added that the additional capabilities will cost another $8,000. The CEO said that with continual improvements, Tesla is aiming for capabilities that are 10 times the safety of a human driver.

Musk took to Twitter to reveal more about their new self-driving technology, saying that the feature allows the vehicle to drive itself with no human input at all through urban streets and highways, and it can also find a parking spot. The CEO said that when looking for a parking spot, the car reads the signs to see whether it is allowed to park there.

It appears that the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 are crossing over to James Bond/”Knight Rider” territory as Musk said that the feature allows the car to find its owner. The CEO said that if owners want the car to return, one merely has to tap “Summon” on one’s smartphone, and the car “will eventually find you even if you are on the other side of the country.”

The Tesla Model 3 is priced at $35,000 and is available for pre-order on Tesla’s official website. Production begins mid-2017 and is slated for release in 2018.