Tesla is rolling out its Autopilot software to Model S and Model X cars built since October, which are equipped with second-generation Autopilot hardware, according to a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The cars have been without a litany of safety features that are available in many older Tesla cars. The Autopilot software is being deployed to eligible Teslas over-the-air, and owners will not need to do anything special for the software to be downloaded.
However, new Teslas still will not have all the Autopilot and semi-autonomous features that older Teslas have. And some cars, Musk says, will need to have their on-board cameras adjusted by Tesla’s service department for Autopilot to work correctly. Though new Tesla cars have superior hardware (according to Tesla, at least), the software that runs on the system is still being worked on. Tesla says that the hardware is physically capable of eventually controlling the car in all circumstances.
Autopilot for HW2 rolling out to all HW2 cars today. Please be cautious. Some cars will require adjustment of camera pitch angle by service.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 21, 2017
Cars with Gen 2 Autopilot hardware will now have a speed-limited version of Autosteer, the feature that most owners consider to be “Autopilot.” It will work at speeds below 45 mph, and is meant for use on highways with clear lane markings. It helps maintain position within the lane in slow-moving traffic. It works with the traffic-aware cruise control system (TACC), which is also rolling out with the update. TACC allows the vehicle adjust its speed based on the car ahead, decelerating or accelerating as needed. TACC is currently limited to a maximum speed of 75 mph. Previously, cars with second-generation Autopilot hardware only had basic cruise control.
Vehicles are also gaining Forward Collision Warning (FCW), where the car will alert the driver when there is an object in your path and a collision is likely. The system will sound a chime and give a visual warning on the instrument panel. The car will not have Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), where the car can apply the brakes in an attempt to avoid or reduce the severity of a crash.
The update does not bring new Teslas to parity with the Autopilot and safety features available in older Teslas with Autopilot hardware, but it’s a great improvement over what was available previously. Along with AEB, new Teslas also do not have the ability to parallel or perpendicular park themselves, nor Tesla’s Summon parking feature.