Tesla Autopilot ‘nags’ and restrictions under v8.0 software update – breakdown


Tesla v8.0 software update with upgraded Autopilot features has started being pushed to owners last night. The update includes a lot of unanimously welcomed upgrades, like the new radar processing technology, voice command improvements, and upgraded navigation and media apps with the UI overhaul.

But it also includes new Autopilot ‘nags’ and restrictions, taking the form of alerts and warnings, which are dividing Tesla owners. Some see new restriction as Tesla rolling back features that they already bought and a few go as far as refusing to update, while others welcome the new restrictions as a way to make the system safer.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained the reasons behind the new restrictions in details during a press conference ahead of the v8.0 update, but in short, Tesla reviewed the Autopilot data and realized that some expert users would often ignore alerts to hold the steering wheel, which can become dangerous.

You can read his explanation in full with our transcript.

This article is not about making the case for either side of this argument, but simply to offer a clear breakdown of when Tesla sends out alerts – often referred to as ‘nag’ from Tesla drivers.

The automaker also updated the ‘Hold Steering Wheel’ alert with now the perimeter of the instrument panel lighting up with an increasing pulse rate.

Here’s a comprehensive breakdown:

  • Below 45 mph
    • ‘Hold Steering Wheel’ alert after 5 minutes on a straight road.
    • If there are curves on the road, the system accounts for lateral acceleration so refer to over 45 mph.
  • Over 45 mph
    • ‘Hold Steering Wheel’ alert after 1 minute if no vehicle to follow.
    • ‘Hold Steering Wheel’ alert after 3 minutes if you are tracking a car in front

If you ignore 3 alerts within an hour, the Autosteer feature will be disabled for the remainder of the drive – meaning you will have to put the car on park before being able to enable it again.

Of course, outside of the time-based alerts, the system will also ask you to take over if it can’t operate properly based on the state of the sensors or road conditions.

What do you think? Reasonable? Excessive? Discuss…

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