Last days of the 2016 Tesla released the Autopilot update for new cars for work in ‘’Tesla Vision’’. Update was announced only for the first 1000 cars in its fleet. Among the new features are the Autopilot’s Traffic Aware Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, and Auto-steer. Automaker ensured that it can only be enabled at “low-speed” as a beta feature.
Tesla is being extremely cautious in letting owners know to be careful in the use of the new Autopilot throughout the release notes. Some of the owners already published the release notes on internet, and send them to the portals who are following Tesla novelties.
What Tesla wrote in the release Notes for the Autopilot update?
In the Introduction section of Enhanced Autopilot Tesla wrote that new Autopilot features are designed to give to owners of the cars more confidence behind the wheel, increase the safety on the road, and make driving in traffic less frustrating. Similar to the autopilot function in airplanes, drivers need to maintain control and responsibility of vehicle while enjoying the convenience of Autopilot in Model S.
These features operate on a new hardware and software platform. Therefore, their rollout will be measured and cautious until company have generated confidence across several hundred million miles of real-world usage. Enhanced Autopilot will become better over time as this experience is gained and corner cases are addressed. In the meantime, it is particularly important that the car owners remain vigilant and in control when using driver assistance features.
A new active safety feature. Forward Collision Warning, is available with this release. This feature will warn the drivers when there is an object in the path. A Forward Collision Warning will sound a chime and highlight the vehicle in front in red in the instrument panel. Drivers can set how early you’d like to be warned, or disable this feature.
A new active safety feature, Forward Collision Warning, is available with the last release, and with it, Model S cruise control has been upgraded to Traffic-Aware Cruise Control. When Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is engaged, Model S will adjust its speed based on the car directly in front, decelerating and accelerating as needed up to the set speed.
The Traffic-Aware Cruise Control set speed is engaging cruise at this set speed by pulling the cruise stalk toward the driver’s car briefly and releasing. The feature indicator turning blue, indicating that cruise is engaged and actively maintaining the set speed. Traffic-Aware Cruise Control also adjusts the driving speed as appropriate when entering and exiting curves.
Driver can accelerate at any time when using Traffic-Aware Cruise Control. But when accelerator is released, Model S returns to the set speed. Other Traffic-Aware Cruise Control functions—engaging, disengaging, initially establishing a set speed, etc.—remain the same as the previous Model S cruise control.
While Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is engaged, activating the left-turn signal will accelerate Model S a bit faster than the current speed. Traffic-Aware Cruise Control will still maintain a following distance to the car in front, albeit shorter than normal. This is particularly useful when the driver need to pass a car on the left. This feature does not activate below 45 mph.
Low-Speed Auto-steer (Beta) introduces Auto-steer for low-speed traffic assistance on restricted-access highways. This first iteration of Auto-steer makes highway driving easier by assisting the driver in maintaining position in lane while in slow-moving traffic. It also engages maintaining speed while respecting a safe following distance to the car in front. Auto-steer works well on highways when there are clear lane markings. It does not function reliably when a road has very sharp turns or when lane mark’ SACK TO TOP ambiguous. Autosteer performance will also deteriorate in rainy, snowy, or foggy conditions. Tesla is warning the users that it is vital that they pay attention to their driving environment so you can take over if needed.
From here, Tesla will be able to improve those features and introduce new ones every few months with the end goal still being the release of ‘fully self-driving capability’ around the end of the year.