Twitter, the new source of adjustments, minor changes, and now presidential updates, is where Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the Enhanced Autopilot launch. New vehicles equipped with “hardware 2” will now enjoy this over-the-air software update, an update which will include the Low-Speed Autosteer, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, and Forward Collision Warning features.
Now, newer Model S and Model X vehicles will come equipped with Autopilot 2.0, a feature representative of the first generation Autopilot called “autosteer”.
Autosteer, traditionally referred to as autopilot, works at 45pmh and below, intended for highways with clear lane markings. Forward Collision Warning alerts drivers when objects are in their path and collisions are likely. The Tesla autopilot feature chimes with a visual warning alert on the instrument panel. This hardware update lacks Automatic Emergency Braking, where the car would apply the brakes to avoid or reduce the collision severity, though no doubt this update is soon to arrive. Additionally, owners will see a new parking feature soon enough, one which enables cars to parallel park or perpendicular park all on their own.
This software update represents the coming iteration of the Enhance Autopilot, software originally released in smaller quantities at the end of the last year, followed by Tesla’s soft release of 1,000 Model X and Model S vehicles.
Tesla owners were part of the first users to receive Enhanced Autopilot, reporting the Autosteer functionality downloading independently and slowly coming to life following the Twitter announcement earlier this week. With results indicative of initial success, this weekend, tweets from Musk stated that “Some cars will require adjustment of camera pitch angle by service”.
Vehicles which boast Autopilot 2.0 hardware will eventually become self-driving, expounding upon the current autosteer abilities, assisted by a suite of 8 onboard cameras working in conjunction with 12 advanced ultrasonic sensors. All in all these provide 360 degrees of visibility around the vehicle.
Tesla demonstrated the self-driving hardware in a video released last year, indicative of the car’s ability to not only drive sans users, but to obey traffic signals and stop signs accordingly. As if this were not enough to allay doubts, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration completed their evaluation into the autopilot performance last June, failing to identify any defects.
Though Enhanced Autopilot is not intended for self-driving capabilities exclusively, Tesla owners were surprised to find that their Autopilot 2.0 vehicles were able to accurately detect stop signs.
Compared to previous availability, Tesla owners are excited, not only for what is at hand now, but what is in store no doubt very soon.