Tesla Motors' Latest Enhanced Autopilot is Now Active on Newer Cars

Jan 23, 2017 09:33 PM EST | BC Tabotabo

Tesla recently introduced its Autopilot HW2 update. It was only made available for 1,000 lucky electric vehicles. The Silicon Valley company has now made the update live on all of its newer Model S and Model X cars.

Enhanced Autopilot Update. Previously, only 1,000 lucky owners of the top-selling electric vehicle got to try out the latest Autopilot HW2 update. Everyone else could see the update but it was only available in "shadow mode." Elon Musk, the Silicon Valley company's CEO, was very optimistic about the update.

The Enhanced Autopilot software update was designed to allow cars to match its speed with current traffic conditions. It can automatically change lanes, park itself, and merge both on and off highways.

According to a tweet by Elon Musk, the Autopilot software will be rolled out to all Model S and Model X cars built since Oct. 2016. This is probably because newer cars have more cameras while older models are only equipped with one camera for Autopilot.

This software is being deployed to all eligible units over the air. Owners will not need to download anything or do anything special in order to receive the new software. However, it is highly encouraged that Tesla owners visit their nearest technicians to have their camera angles modified.

Newer vehicles do not have the same Autopilot and semi-autonomous features that the older models have. While newer models have superior hardware, the software on the system still needs a lot of work.

In addition, autosteer is now upgraded. Initially, autosteer was capped at speeds 35 mph and below. Now it is better at navigating trickier roads and can now maneuver across curved driveways. It also works up to 45 mph now.

Autosteer works with the traffic-aware cruise control system (TACC), which is also part of the update. TACC lets the electric vehicle adjust its speed based on the car ahead of it. It will decelerate and accelerate as needed. TACC is currently limited to a speed of 75 mph maximum.

The upgraded cars are also gaining Forward Collision Warning (FCW). The car will be placed on alert when an object in its path will likely cause a collision. The car does not, however, have Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB).

Tesla is really working hard to make their fully autonomous dream for 2017 a reality. With the current enhanced autopilot and all of the changes at the company, will they be able to pull it off within the year?

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