Tesla Autopilot Update Coming in Mid-December

Posted by at 1:15 pm on November 28, 2016


The next update to Tesla’s Autopilot will arrive in mid-December, kicking off a series of incremental improvements that will culminate in all Tesla vehicles being able to drive themselves.

According to a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the new 8.1 software update will arrive in “about three weeks,” Electrik noted on Saturday. Musk wrote that “it will get rolled out incrementally in monthly releases.”

Musk’s tweet suggests that his futuristic car company intends to pursue an update schedule reminiscent of computer software and mobile apps as it makes good on a promise to equip all of its cars with self-driving technology.

The 8.1 software update will harness hardware that’s included in the latest Model S and Model X vehicles rolling off the assembly line, including eight cameras for 360-degree visibility at up to 250 meters, 12 ultrasonic sensors for detection of hard and soft objects, and a forward-facing radar capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust, and even cars ahead.

Once the software is ready, Teslas will be capable of fully-autonomous driving, or “Level 5,” as it’s called in the auto industry. Levels one through four refer to cars that can drive themselves in certain situations, but typically require humans to beĀ All Tesla Cars to Have Self-Driving Tech Going Forward

In October, Tesla confirmed that the upcoming Model 3 will also include the necessary hardware for autonomous driving. The Model 3 will start at around $35,000, compared to the Model S’s $66,000 asking price.

The California automaker came under fire this year when Autopilot was blamed for a deadly crash in Florida, among other incidents. A separate software update that rolled out in September was intended to assuage concerns by switching to a radar-based self-driving system and prompting drivers to be more attentive behind the wheel.

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