Tesla Uploads Autopilot Software Updates to 1,000 Cars

Jan 03, 2017 06:20 AM EST | Joanne Zamora

Tesla Motors Inc. started rolling out software updates to its customers with newer cars, bringing them to parity with owners who have what is known as "Autopilot 1". This is to prepare the stage to ultimately unfold full self-driving capability.

According to Automotive News, Tesla Motor Inc. CEO Elon Musk said in a Twitter post on Saturday, "HW2 Autopilot software uploading to 1,000 cars this eve. Will then hold to verify no field issues and upload to rest of fleet next week." This software update comes as the automotive and technology industries prepare to go to Las Vegas for the annual CES technology expo and Detroit for the North American International Auto Show but Tesla will be skipping CES and the said auto show. Instead, it will be hosting its investors at its $5 billion Gigafactory 1 east of Reno, Nevada, on Jan. 4, where it produces batteries and energy storage packs.

All cars produced by Tesla since October 2014 have Autopilot softwares, which gave the company the opportunity to collect more than 1.3 billion miles of data from Autopilot-equipped vehicles which operate under diverse road and weather conditions.

Musk warned that the cars would temporarily miss some of the features currently available on Tesla Motor vehicles with "first generation" Autopilot as the company verified the software when he announced in October that all vehicles being produced at the Fremont, California factory are shipping with a new hardware suite to enable full self-driving. That would include some standard safety features like automatic emergency braking, collision warning, and active cruise control.

Customers with the "Hardware 2" (HW2) suite will have those features. The camera and sensor set of HW2 was announced late 2016 and all the vehicles produced from October 2016 were fitted with the new equipment. The Hardware 2 equipment includes eight cameras, one radar, ultrasonic sensors, and a new supercomputer. It is also technically capable of fully autonomous self-driving, also known as level-five autonomy.

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