Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Tesla’s Autopilot is just about to get a ‘full self-driving feature’

Tesla’s Autopilot is just about to get a ‘full self-driving feature’

A Tesla super charger is shown at one of the company's charging stations in San Juan Capistrano, California, US, May 30, 2018.

An update to Tesla's Autopilot software coming in August will enable "full self-driving features" for the automaker's electric cars, chief executive Elon Musk says.

In another fatal accident previous year, Tesla's Autopilot failed to detect a truck crossing the road, but investigators pointed out the driver was watching a movie at the time and not paying attention with the semi-autonomous system in operation. Despite its name, Tesla's existing Autopilot technology is not true self-driving capability, but a set of advanced safety features that have also helped Tesla gather data for training its self-driving software. "With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features", Musk tweeted.

Musk, responding to a user's concern regarding how the autonomous driving features function in the case of two lanes merging, said that the autopilot's issue is fully fixed in the next update.

It has not been made clear which self-driving features would be included in the August update.

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The filters are integrated into the after-treatment system and trap ultrafine particulates as the exhaust gases pass through. An intelligent phone function will automatically surface contacts around the time the driver usually calls them, too.

Tesla's documentation on its website about the "full self-driving capabilities" package says that it is not possible to know exactly when each element of the functionality will be available, as this is highly dependent on local regulatory approval.

The NTSB's recent preliminary report into the fatal Tesla crash in Mountain View this March found no precrash braking or evasive steering before the vehicle drove into a road barrier.

The price of Musk cutting off analysts? It already has a couple different sedans in the Model S and Model 3, along with the Model X SUV.

Tesla's shares were last up 3.3 per cent at $327.93 on Monday after touching a high of $333.

Autopilot in its current form is a driver-assistance system that still requires the driver to pay attention and be ready to take control of the steering wheel.

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