Though Tesla introduced its Autopilot feature with a great deal of fanfare a few years back, things haven’t exactly turned out as planned for the EV maker. While the feature in a general sense works as advertised, there have been a number of accident reports involving Tesla vehicles where the Autopilot feature was engaged. Most recently, a Tesla Model S cruising along with the Autopilot feature turned on slammed into a parked fire truck on a California freeway.
Compounding matters is that the hardware on which Tesla’s Autopilot feature rests has been completely re-built from the ground up. If you recall, Tesla in July of 2016 cut ties with Mobileye, an Israeli-based company that provided the sensors and all of the underlying technology for the company’s Autopilot software. A few months later, Tesla began rolling out new Autopilot hardware based on technology built-in house. Suffice it to say, the second iteration of Tesla’s Autopilot hardware hasn’t yet caught up to the first in terms of overall performance.
Not to fear, Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently took to Twitter and said that a new update to the company’s Autopilot software is on the way and that a release candidate is already in final testing. And about one month prior, Musk said that Tesla has the “most advanced AI neural net of any consumer product” and that early testing results have been incredibly impressive.
It remains to be seen, though, what type of new features the forthcoming update will bring.
Interestingly enough, the former head of Tesla’s Autopilot initiative — former Apple vet Chris Lattner — posted a tweet on Friday morning indicating that there hasn’t been much progress with Autopilot since he left the company a few months back.
And for what it’s worth, longtime Tesla support Steve Wozniak recently said that he no longer trusts anything Elon Musk or Tesla says after a number of Autopilot-related promises that were not met.