This machine will keep pace with traffic. OK. Does that mean it will break speed limits? Unless it is scanning for each and every potential road sign, it simply cannot be respond to arbitrary/temporary limits. The determination of the legal limit on a piece of road is a complex task. Road construction, local conditions, sunrise/set, time of year (school zones) and even weather can be a factor. And let us not forget "Speed limit X when children on road". You need some serious cpu time to work out whether that person walking along the road is a schoolgirl or a construction worker.
Imho any system not capable of determining the speed limit accurately is a legal liability. Have fun with the tickets.
>eliminating the need for drivers to worry about complex and difficult parking maneuvers.
No. Parallel parking is not a complex nor difficult maneuver. It is total beginner territory. No lives are at risk. With a decent bumper, even risk of property damage is minimal. Anyone not capable of learning to parallel park probably shouldn't be behind the wheel of much anything. Anyone buying this car to avoid such mundane tasks isn't someone with whom I want to share the road.
Now, I have no idea whether or not this feature is utilized for autopilot (though I would kind of assume it would be), but it is there :)
Road signs also have situational contexts. e.g. in the UK there are road signs indicating a max speed for an upcoming sharp bend (or series of bends) in the road. There isn't always a matching speed limit sign after the bend because drivers are assumed to work that out for themselves. But will the cars do so? Or will your self-driving car get stuck at the lower speed?
That also avoids the enforcement problems such as where the new limit should being and end, and the difficulty of measuring vehicle speed through a corner.
You (and parents) vastly overestimate difficulty. They are reflective, high contrast, using known font and very limited symbols (0-9). Car CV systems can distinguish pedestrians from background, they can read a freaking sign.
Sub signs I'll give you. Don't have any where I live though.
Compared to all the other things it must do reading signs is on the easy list.
The MobileEye system in the Tesla (and other manufacturers) has some of the most sophisticated CV software on the road - not just scanning for road signs, but identifying road markings, lane markings, curbs, obstructions, traffic signals, etc.
Tesla is most likely using their machine vision system to identify speed limit signs, and then incorporate this data into their mapping data.
For speed limits, the obvious technical problem is knowing when they end, if they apply to your road, or maybe a parallel road or an off-ramp, which is mostly easy for a human to tell, but much harder for a camera.
Even though the camera may be better on average processing all this information than the average human driver, it's an unanswered question, from a legal point of view, who's responsible when the camera is wrong.
Volvo has recently taking a stand proclaiming legal responsibility, but it remains to be seen if that's even a possibility in many nations.
There may be some jurisdictions where this is the case, but in most I'm familiar with it is fairly well settled that the human driver of a car is legally at fault if the car is driven in violation of the law, and the human driver of the car is also legally responsible for assuring that all mechanical features of the car are maintained so as to not interfere with the human drivers ability to assure that the car is driven in accordance with the law.
(In many jurisdictions, the manufacturer may have liability for accidents and injury due to manufacturing defects, but that doesn't generally absolve the driver for being responsible for driving consistently with the law.)
It is very possible to get a speeding ticket well below the legal limit. It isn't common, but where fog/snow/ice/rain are a factor I have seen cops hand them out to idiots. And 'conditions' can include the condition of your vehicle. Driving with bald/track tires in the rain can result in an 'unsafe speed' ticket should a cop see you slide.
"Hey, is it a school day?"
"No, we take a couple days off before exams."
"Oh. It's a good thing then that we haven't ticketed anyone."
"But doesn't the law say 'normal school day'? It is a friday."
"Ya, but your school ain't normal."
You could say that the ultimate responsiblity lies with the driver, but taking this position effectively means that all self-driving features are pointless (since this implies that the driver should be concentrating on the driving at all times).
If the responsibility lies (partially, at least) with the car manufacturer, they are going to get a lot of lawsuits thrown at them when it gets the speed limit wrong. Every speeding ticket, every accident where the car was going too fast, etc.
If the highway speed limit is 55 and everybody is going 70, you'll make the road a more dangerous place by going 55. I don't know how it works from a legal standpoint, but from a practicality and safety standpoint, I'd rather go with the flow.
Since you can't choose who you're on the road with, doesn't that make this feature more appealing?
You seem to be implying that most drivers are past the beginner level of skill in driving. I have not found this to be the case.
FYI, most every manufacturer of moving vehicles set their speedometers slightly high. On motorcycles it can be as much as 10%. This is to avoid any accusation that any inaccuracies in their product (ie changing tire diameter) might result in someone going faster than indicated.
IIRC, you set cruise control at the speed you'd like to go. It'll try and keep that speed where safe, but if traffic is moving slower it'll slow to match. It won't try and follow someone doing 90 if you put cruise to 65.