Good news, Tesla fans: in just three weeks’ time, a new version of Autopilot will provide us with a new piece of technology to blame when a Tesla crashes.
According to a tweet sent out by Elon Musk, the newest version of Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot will be online in three weeks. The new version won’t have all the shiny new capabilities promised previously, as the system will see regular, continuous updates to improve functionality.
about three weeks and it will get rolled out incrementally in monthly releases
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 27, 2016
The currently active semi-autonomous system that you’ve probably heard about is what Tesla calls Autopilot. Using cameras and radar, it allows some Model S and Model X cars to match the speed of cars in front, stay within a lane, switch lanes by pressing the indicator, and perform basic self-parking.
Tesla’s ultimate goal is fully autonomous driving, but it’s getting there via something called “Enhanced Autopilot.” That will take advantage of more sensors on newer Model S and Model X vehicles to give more autonomous capibilities. Namely, the car will be able to switch lanes with no input, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway on its own, and park in more complex situations.
In practice, it’s hoped that it will mean nearly-full autonomy on the highway, although Tesla will still tell drivers to be paying attention and ready to take over at all times.
All the features of the Enhanced Autopilot probably won’t be available next month, but instead sound like they’ll roll out as monthly updates. Depending on how the Enhanced Autopilot adoption goes, Tesla is hoping to deploy full autonomy to new vehicles by the end of next year.