Tesla has equipped its vehicles with hardware that allegedly supports full self-driving capability, but until regulations catch up, the automaker is continuing to expand its semi-autonomous technologies. Starting this week, it’s rolling out an updated version of Autopilot.
A new feature, Navigate on Autopilot, uses the car’s navigation system to guide it all the way from a highway’s on-ramp to the off-ramp. Unlike previous versions of Autopilot, it will take the desired highway interchange and the appropriate exit based on the route entered into the navigation system.
Drivers still have to activate the turn signal in order for the car to change lanes by itself. But now, the system will make lane change suggestions based on the chosen route. It will also suggest moving into another lane based on the speed you wish to travel. In the “Mild” setting, Tesla will suggest a lane change only if you’re traveling significantly slower than your set cruise speed, while the more aggressive “Mad Max” mode will advise a lane change when you’re traveling just below your desired speed. The “Average” setting falls somewhere in between, and the “Disabled” setting turns off speed-based lane changes altogether. Navigate on Autopilot may not be available on every route.
Tesla says it has logged more than 1 billion miles of real-world Autopilot data since the feature launched in 2015. Navigate on Autopilot rolls out this week to U.S. customers of Tesla vehicles with Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-Driving Capability, a premium feature Tesla recently stopped offering. Future versions of Navigate on Autopilot will be able to change lanes without the driver having to activate the turn stalk.
Earlier this month, Tesla rolled out Software Version 9.0. This update comes with a number of new features including easier climate controls and the ability to record dash cam video with the car’s forward-facing camera. Assuming you have a Model S, Model X, or Model 3 equipped with Hardware 2.0 or above, all eight external cameras are now active, allowing for a 360-degree view.
While drivers still need to remain in control of their cars at all times, this won’t be the case forever, if Tesla has its way.
“The future introduction of our Tesla-developed AI chip with our Full Self-Driving platform will allow the speed at which our system processes data to increase by an order of magnitude and take a meaningful leap toward our full self-driving future,” the automaker said in a statement.
Check out the video below for a closer look at the updated Tesla Autopilot system.
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