They're typically called Lane Keeping Assistant, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blindspot Warning, Automated Parking, Traffic Sign Recognition, etc.
The emergency steering bit is interesting, though no further details are provided, as it requires the car to ensure that there is a safe space to steer into, which is dicey for a forward collision emergency braking system, so I'd conjecture it is connected to the side collision warning, and allows collision avoidance if there is enough space in the current lane.
You could make the whole brand argument, like with Apple releasing the iPad, but....I simply disagree. Tesla deserves the credit they're getting.
He doesn't have 100 years of history weighing him down; he hasn't made a lemon yet; his cars are actually pretty awesome.
But... all these features do already exist in other brands.
Disclaimer: I work for GM
The second, and likely more critical differentiator (IMO), is security. Mr. Musk would not accept public shaming of such magnitude like this:
And I only pick on GM here since, well, you work there. When it comes to software in cars Tesla treats it as a true part of the vehicle engineering. Others seems to still treat it as an afterthought - and then the question starts to linger: how good is the software in all of the other vendors "features"? How much QA have they done with regard to lane keep, blind spot, adaptive cruise, etc?
I don't own a Tesla, I really wish I did, but if I had to place a wager on a car manufacturers QA process and ability to build fault tolerant vehicle systems I would pick Tesla to oust the competition handily at this point. While I realize it's a subjective matter, and there's really no good way to compare, the directive of the company seems pointed in a more apt approach than others.
The quote: "Model S is designed to keep getting better over time" reminds me of kaizen (1). It is a really awesome concept that not only can the car manufacturing process and technology keep getting better, but the cars can improve as well.
That being said: OTA update is REALLY FUCKING SCARY for cars. What if someone puts the wrong update in the queue accidentally? (2)
The historic attitude to modules in cars is also important. Modules run "code", but it is treated as mechanically as possible. Could you imagine changing out a few pistons while driving? Probably not. This is a failure of imagination that is being addressed now!
It is a truism that Big, Old, Large companies are risk-averse. The downside to doing a bad OTA to a car is unlimited!
WRT to Tesla's QA - I don't know of anything that has been published in this regard. I would hope they are "doing it right". I hope they are successful, and I hope everyone is inspired by their leadership and learns from them.
1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen - Article claims it was introduced by American business people, but Japanese companies continuously improved it =D
OTA update is no more or less scary than any other form of software update, or in fact any other form of mechanical update.
Software engineers are generally used to the level of rigour that goes on with their software. If you're a web devloper shipping a commerce application there's an appropriate level of testing and process, because there's only a certian level of reliability you need to hit, and spending more money on that would slow down your development. The way you go about delivering software for medical devices for instance (which we do), is a completely different process with a whole different level of rigour, testing and documentation. Because that's appropriate in that environment.
There's a whole lot more documentation and thought that goes into the beam that stops the top of your house from falling down, than goes into the beam that stops your garden shed from falling down. It's no different than software.
At the same time, consumer electronics are routinely broken by OTA updates.
Cars fall squarely in the middle, high volume and high price. Additionally, failures carry a high risk. Nobody will die if your webshop goes down, but if your car decides to steer into oncoming traffic, well, bummer.
The support beam analogy is flawed in the sense that the beams are simply made bigger to ensure they're strong enough even with considerable material defects, but this doesn't work for software, where a single little bug can lead to a catastrophic failure.
I am not aware of anything other than cars where such a high number of devices carries such a high risk factor. Certainly doing OTA car updates in a commercial environment is possible, but there is not yet a relatively foolproof way to do it.
Regarding OTA: It is. But, ignorance is even scarier. Look at any company that embraces CI (continuous improvement). Amazon - how many changes to production do they push a day? Now compare that to a legacy F50 that has process designed to be change averse as they view that as risk in and of itself. This seems to be the viewpoint you're working from through GM and maybe (I'm speculating here) you're influenced by the process internally. Maybe your view is that it's risky because of what you're exposed to? My guess is that given the culture of Telsa - critical software OTA is not taken lightly. Speculation - but they likely have a far more rigorous process for deployment than many others since they've done this from the beginning. If I can suggest reading on this subject I would point you in the direction of Gene Kim's work in this area as he has studied high performing organizations and, in a nutshell, has found that companies that embrace change and do it frequently have less operational problems than those who don't. Risk-averse seems to compound mistakes and, this could very well flow into those hypothesis around practice. The more you do, the better you are and "10k" hours.
While I agree accidents can (and will) happen - again I wouldn't put my money that it happens to Tesla first or with any cadence of frequency. Keep in mind Tesla is riding on quality in software - full stop. If they have a problem there, it could be detrimental to the point of failure. This is a good thing for consumers because they're most likely getting a superior product comparatively. And we already know that non-OTA software that has gone out the door in vehicles has caused death and harm. Is it scary that those bits are note able to benefit from a timely OTA update? There are definitely two sides to this coin.
And finally... While I know that it's been said quite a bit that "we've done that". I'm not truly sure people are grasping the reality of what Tesla is doing. While I understand others have these features, the Jalopnik short sums up what they've accomplished that, in my opinion, others are definitely lagging behind in - if you haven't watched it definitely do:
Again... Even if others are kind-of-sort-of doing this today, the iterations will be across model years. No vendors have the long-term upgradability that Tesla does at this point. Not sure I would trust an American car to change lanes on it's own based on it's situational awareness as shown in the video.
This reckless Infiniti driver even gets into the passenger's seat while the car is driving:
The Tesla can change lanes on its own while the others can't, but the others have some interesting gadgets the Tesla doesn't - for example, Audi has the super trick night vision display which also picks out and highlights/alerts on pedestrians and animals.
But I looked exactly like the guy in the video when I first test-drove my car two years ago, but now I'm so used to it I don't think about it any longer.
But you gotta give it to Tesla's marketing department, that they can get people excited by a feature that you could get in a damn nice car, two years ago, at half the price.
It only requires you to grab the steering wheel if you want to change lanes or turn.
It's usually ok to just nudge the wheel a bit to let it know you're still there.
Note that this is for obvious liability reasons, not technical reasons.
Note that the Tesla reaction video is as low speeds in stop & go traffic, and my car is just as good there.
It would be interesting to test the Tesla in the same conditions as the Hyundai is failing in.
I'm quite envious of the OTA update, there's no way Mercedes will every upgrade the Distronic software in my car, if I want the improved version, I have to buy a newer model. :-/
Ping pong back and forth in the lane, no curve steering. Bleh.
I've had a bit of cognitive dissonance recently while reading Elon Musk's comments on Apple's electric car project because I have to remind myself Tesla isn't owned by Apple. Tesla does do some great engineering, but I think they have also Apple levels of hype within technology circles.
If they played it the way Tesla did, they probably would. Recall that nobody buying Model S knew about those capabilities up until the moment Tesla announced, "by the way, at some point we've started packing Model S with sensors; if you've bought recently then you have self-driving capabilities that we'll enable soon with a software update". This came as a surprise for everyone.
First-mover isn't all that matters.
I've driven many cars with Lane Keep Assist - it is really a warning/minor correction system to keep you from crossing over your lane. If you let go of the wheel, most systems will ping pong from lane to lane.
Tesla's system actually centers you in the lane, steers around corners, and handles changing lanes. That is the innovation.
I am unable to find any info on the Range Rover site about capability to auto steer (just Auto Cruise Control). There are also no Youtube videos showing this functionality.
Can you provide more details?