New Tesla software to offer 'full' autonomy, Musk says

Elon Musk made a surprise unveiling back in November 2017 when he presented the new Roadster. — Reuters pic

New Tesla software to offer 'full' autonomy, Musk says

He's tweeted that the latest Autopilot software rolling out is "fully fixed in August update as part of our long-awaited Tesla Version 9".

Autopilot is a form of advanced cruise control that can handle some driving tasks such as acceleration, steering, and braking on certain stretches of road.

In another fatal accident past 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.

While Tesla is selling a full self-driving package, that does not mean that consumers will be able to use it immediately.

The key words in Musk's tweet are "begin to enable".

"It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the (approximately) 40,000 people who died in USA auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage", Musk said last month.

However, it was not clear what self-driving features would be included in the August update.

Customers can pay $5,000 for Autopilot lane-keeping and lane-changing capabilities or fork out $3,000 more for full self-driving capability, which the company sold before it was available.

All of this functionality is "dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary widely by jurisdiction".

A consumer advocacy group on Friday urged Tesla to fix what it termed as "flaws" in Autopilot after a preliminary government report said a Model X driver did not have his hands on the vehicle's steering wheel in the final six seconds before a fatal crash on March 23. Tesla has been going through trying times with the production of the Model 3 not going as planned but is expected to reach the target soon.

GM had said it will expand the roll-out of Super Cruise to all its Cadillac models beginning 2020.

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