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December 23, 2016

Tesla Autopilot Update Could Launch Next Week

The update Tesla CEO Elon Musk eluded to back in August for its vehicles’ autonomous driving system may launch the week after Christmas.

“Looks like we might be ready to rollout most of Autopilot functionality for HW2 towards the end of next week,” Musk said in a tweet Thursday.

The upcoming software, known as Enhanced Autopilot, will have many of the same features as the original version, but it will be more accurate and efficient.

“Your Tesla will match speed to traffic conditions, keep within a lane, automatically change lanes without requiring driver input, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway when your destination is near, self-park when near a parking spot and be summoned to and from your garage,” the company said.

As part of the autopilot system, each vehicle has eight surround cameras providing 360-degree visibility for up to 250 meters. There are also 12 ultrasonic sensors enabling detection of objects at nearly twice the distance of the previous system while a forward-facing radar equipped with enhanced processing will offer up further data. Processing the data will be a new and much more powerful onboard computer with the Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software.

As Tesla puts it, the system “provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses.”

Tesla announced this fall that all vehicles coming out of Tesla’s factory — even the Model 3 — will have full self-driving capability.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.