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Tesla’s Autopilot feature should see some huge performance improvements soon

When Tesla released its Autopilot feature a few years ago, it didn’t take long before enthusiastic Tesla owners began pushing the feature to the limit. In fact, some of the early Autopilot videos we saw were so harrowing that Tesla was effectively forced to enact a number of safeguards around the feature. As a quick example, one video which made the rounds a few years ago featured a Tesla driver sitting in the backseat while Autopilot busied itself with the navigation.

In the years since, Tesla’s Autopilot feature has seen a few transformations. In addition to implementing a number of safeguards, Tesla in 2016 cut ties with Mobileye, an Israeli company that provided Tesla with the advanced sensors that helped form the foundation for Autopilot. With Mobileye out of the picture, Tesla began work on a second-gen iteration of Autopilot, all based on sensor technology developed in-house. Of course, with Tesla starting from scratch, the second iteration of Autopilot has not been as reliable as the first.

Tesla, though, has been working hard behind the scenes to rectify that. Earlier this year, for example, Elon Musk said that Tesla has been testing a big update to its Autopilot software and that the company has the “most advanced AI neural net of any consumer product.” What’s more, Musk boasted that a release candidate is already in final testing and that early results have been incredibly promising.

All that said, Tesla and Musk haven’t disclosed too many details about the impending update. To that end, sources claiming to be familiar with Tesla’s plans provided Electrek with some interesting details.

Sources familiar with the matter told Electrek that the only new feature is the ability of Autopilot 2.0 to detect and render on the instrument cluster vehicles driving in lanes adjacent to the lane in which the Tesla vehicle is driving.

The bigger difference is the improvements to existing Autopilot features, like Autosteer, due to a much more advanced neural net system to power the Autopilot’s computer vision.

There’s no telling when Tesla’s new Autopilot software will be released, but the good news is that it’s likely coming sooner rather than later.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.