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Tesla is updating its Autopilot to make it follow the speed limit on roads

tesla autopilot

Before a recent update that is being gradually pushed to Tesla owners, the automaker allowed its Autopilot to be set at a higher speed than the speed limit on all roads where the driver assist system could be enabled, but now Tesla is pushing a new update to make Autopilot follow the rules of the road more closely.

Electrek has received reports from owners having received the new update since last week. Tesla confirmed the release.

Owners of Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot have, up until now, been able to set the speed of the Autopilot’s ‘Traffic-Aware Cruise Control’ feature to up to 5 mph over the speed limit on roads and non-divided highways when using Autosteer.

Now they are restricted to following the speed limit exactly, without the 5 mph leeway.

On highways, the speed limit doesn’t have a direct effect on the Autopilot’s speed. The speed is still limited by the Autopilot’s overall 90 mph speed limit.

Every time Tesla introduces new restrictions to its Autopilot system, it gets a mixed response from owners. While the new restrictions are often coming from the aspiration of making the system safer, some owners always see them as taking away capabilities that they already had and had paid for.

With the introduction of the software update v8.0 in September, Tesla introduced a more aggressive “Autopilot nag,” which prompts more ‘Hold Steering Wheel’ alerts.

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: 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.

Tesla is not only adding restrictions. The company also recently started pushing a new update 8.0.2 to add new convenience features to its vehicles. Additionally, CEO Elon Musk confirmed yesterday that Tesla is making progress to bring Autopilot 2.0 vehicles to parity with the previous generation and that the Autopilot’s vision neural net is ‘now working well.’

Update: apparently the new update can cause some issues with the speed restrictions (update: apparently, this is not a bug, but a feature – more on that later):

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