Whether you think of Tesla as being controversial or polarizing or both, the company seems to enjoy taking large steps forward to bring about more tech and more autonomy to the driving experience we have on the road. While recent situations have caused us to see Tesla take steps backward with its Autopilot system, the company appears to be poised to bring about a system that will actually offer autonomous driving on the roads. This could be a frightening thought for some and an exciting moment for others, but if it’s advertised as fully autonomous, Tesla needs to make sure it’s properly tested and ready.
The Last Autopilot System Update With More Coming from Tesla
The last major update to Autopilot to bring us to version 8.1 gave us an improved autosteer system at speeds that reach up to 90 mph, a Beta version of the Summon park and retrieve feature, automatic high beams, and improved lane changes, to highlight some of the upgrades that are already in place for this system. Inside the vehicle, the personalized media player was upgraded along with enhanced voice controls, a cabin overheat protection, and more, making it easy for the system to keep you more comfortable during the drive.
The goal for Tesla is to offer even more features to the Autopilot system in August, but this doesn’t’ mean we’re going to be at full autonomy just yet. A rollout to the 9.0 version of Autopilot is expected to give us full autonomy, but this will need extensive software validation and regulatory approval before being offered. Right now, there’s no timetable for this to be completed. The plan for the 9.0 version of this system is to give us “full self-driving” features that will be part of the “Full Self-Driving Capability Package” which hints at Level 5 autonomy.
Right now, there are still issues with the Autopilot system, which really needs a new name, with some customers complaining about the system and its inability to recognize when two lanes merge in heavy traffic and the need to let other cars into the lane to allow traffic to merge properly. Until the system can recognize all driving situations and respond appropriately we aren’t going to see full autonomy from Tesla, no matter how close they seem to think they are to solving this problem. We’ll have to see what the new updates offer when they arrive in August to give us an idea of the direction of this system.