June 19, 2018

Autopilot’s next update means Tesla cars can be fully self-driving

Autopilot's next update means Tesla cars can be fully self-driving

Tesla is building a new software update that is set to release in August with full self-driving features for Autopilot 2.0 vehicles. The update, dubbed Version 9.0, will also contain a bunch of improvements to the existing Autopilot technology, revealed CEO Elon Musk. The Palo Alto, California-based company notably brought Version 8.0 back in 2016. The news comes in the midst of several investigations into the role of Tesla’s current Autopilot in recent crashes. These include a Model X crashed and fatality, as well as a Model S crash.

Musk in a tweet highlighted the arrival of Version 9.0. “To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features,” the 46-year-old executive said in response to a tweet highlighting the issues with the present Autopilot system.

Autopilot's next update means Tesla cars can be fully self-driving

The arrival of “full self-driving” features doesn’t mean that Tesla cars will offer a complete autonomous driving experience. It is worth noting here that the Enhanced Autopilot is available for Autopilot 2.0 cars under a $5,000 (approximately Rs. 3,37,000) package. Tesla also has an additional $3,000 (roughly Rs. 2,02,000) package to enable ‘Full Self-Driving Capability’, notes Electrek, and this is what will finally receive features with the Version 9.0 update. However, the currently available functionality is depending upon “extensive software validation and regulatory approval” that varies on the jurisdiction basis.

Having said that, the new software version is apparently aiming to enhance the existing Enhanced Autopilot mode that resulted in some major crashes in the past. One of the fatal crashes that took place on US Highway 101 near Mountain View brought the limitations of the Autopilot into the limelight. It also raised questions about the semi-autonomous system that is available on Tesla vehicles since the release of Model S back in October 2014.

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