Tesla begins autopilot update rollout for new-gen models

Tesla was expected to rollout a new major update for its Autopilot system in December. However it met with some delays. Last Saturday, on the last day of 2016, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced that the new update (Version 8.1) is being sent to a small number of newer Tesla models.

This update is for Tesla vehicles that are equipped with enhanced hardware package which includes extra cameras, ultrasonic sensors, radar, and a powerful onboard computer. Tesla made this package standard from October onwards.

However some features of the Autopilot were not enabled from the beginning like automatic emergency braking and lane guidance, as Tesla had to iron out some issues. The new update will enable those missing features on newer cars but some of those features will be limited, with the Autosteer function limited to when vehicles move slowly on clearly-marked highways. This means that full autonomous capabilities are still not here yet.

Currently the new Autopilot update is reaching about 1,000 HW2-era (October and beyond) cars while the rest of the HW2 fleet should get it in the following week only if there are no reported issues. Also the P100D performance update is expected to arrive on 5 January so owners of a recent Model S or X should get it this week itself.

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