Tesla released today a new update to some Performance Model S owners. The update includes some incremental improvements and an all new feature called ‘Launch Mode’. The new feature assists the driver to accelerate from a standing start, much like a launch control for a race car. Expand Expanding Close
The Model S owners reporting on forums having received the update with new Autopilot restrictions have quickly removed their posts. We now learn through sources with knowledge of matter that Tesla started testing the new version 7.1 of its software with a select group of Model S owners this week.
The new update includes UI improvements, a new self-parking feature, ‘Driver Mode’ and Autopilot restrictions. Expand Expanding Close
In our series of exclusive articles about Tesla’s beta Autopilot and v7.0 software update, we described in details its capabilities and functions, but we couldn’t publish any pictures or videos of the systems in action in order to protect our sources.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter Saturday night that his company will release its software v7.0 with Autopilot for the Model S on Thursday (October 15th). In mid-August Tesla sent out the first release of the beta update to about 600-700 early access testers all around the U.S. and parts of Europe. This particular update is an extremely anticipated one. It includes an important UI design overhaul, but also and more importantly several new ‘Autopilot’ features, which some Model S owners have been waiting for over a year now. Expand Expanding Close
This is part 2 of my report on the beta version of Tesla’s Autopilot. Please read part 1 if you haven’t yet.
Most advanced commercially available autonomous features
The language about the responsibility around the ‘Autopilot’ is somewhat straight-forward. The system is clearly not intended to turn the Model S into a self-driving vehicle with a bunch of redundant autonomous features, but it’s rather an evolutionary step toward self-driving. It alleviates some tasks for the driver, but without ever taking any responsibility.
Tesla uses very clear legal language throughout the beta release to place all the responsibilities with the driver. The driver can and should take over control if he or she thinks it’s necessary. Expand Expanding Close
In mid-August Tesla sent out the first release of its beta v7.0 software update to early access testers all around the U.S. and parts of Europe. This particular update is an extremely anticipated one, not just because of the UI design overhaul, but because it includes several new ‘Autopilot’ features, which some Model S owners have been waiting for close to a year now.
We wrote a first look at the update when the release came out and we followed-up with Tesla’s second release of the beta v7.0 earlier this month. Now this weekend I had the opportunity to fly out and have a complete (unofficial) walk-through of the new update and more importantly, I got to experience the new ‘Autopilot’ features. Expand Expanding Close
Sources familiar with Tesla’s new firmware update explained that version 7.0, which is currently being tested and should be released later this year, will include auto-steering, lane change activated by the turn signal, auto-parking (in parallel spaces) and an updated UI (see picture above).
A few months ago, I wrote an in-depth article about Tesla’s Autopilot, its hardware and its limitations. I based the article on information Tesla released when first unveiling the Dual motor version of the Model S in October last year. The company has since been advertising the Model S with the autopilot features, but owners have only been enjoying a fraction of what was promised during the unveiling.
Now, based on what we are learning about the upcoming software update, Tesla appears to be set to deliver on these promises, or at least most of them…