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Tesla’s First Autopilot Upgrade Hits the Road in December

The first of several monthly incremental releases begins in a few weeks.

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Drivers who bought the Tesla Model S, or Model X with Enhanced Autopilot support have been waiting eagerly to let go of the steering wheel and let the cars take over the job. In a tweet to a Model S owner, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed a new update to enable self-driving features will drop in about three weeks (as of November 26th). This would mean that drivers get to experience the new update some time before Christmas.

Drivers won’t have fully autonomous cars from the get-go however. During Tesla’s self-driving reveal, they spoke of 2017 as a target for fully automating their cars. They will inch towards that goal with monthly incremental releases which enable more and more features. Among the new features you may have to wait for are Autosteer, which utilizes the extra cameras in newer cars to autonomously maneuver the car for you. Once on the freeway, the car will also determine which lane you belong in and place you there, as well as help you around slow moving traffic. When you close in on your destination, it’ll take you to the off-ramp, slow down and release control back to you. Another cool feature you may have to wait for is Smart Summon, where the car will navigate its surroundings to come pick you up – very handy when the valet has gone on break, or when you can’t find where you parked at the mall.

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I wonder how long it’s going to take people to move their hands from the “just in case” position.

Four main features are becoming available in December: Sidecollision warning alerts you of obstructions alongside the car which may cause a collision. Automatic emergency brakes will also be available. A third feature is automatic high beams which turn on and off as needed, and finally, a front collision warning system will alert you of slow moving or stationary vehicles ahead.

source: Tesla

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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