Elon Musk says Tesla could launch upgrades for Autopilot next week

Back in November, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told a Twitter user that the company would start to roll out its upgraded Autopilot system in mid-December.

And now it looks like Musk is making good on that promise, as he has once again taken to Twitter to announce the company “might be ready” to launch new functionality for its latest Autopilot upgrade next week.

https://twitter.com/statuses/812100877708234752

Tesla’s Autopilot has been available for some time on Model S cars, but the company recently revealed all new Tesla vehicles would come with upgraded hardware (HW2) that would allow for a new version of Autopilot to be activated.

This new version will be upgraded incrementally each month, eventually becoming a fully autonomous system that, combined with the new hardware, will essentially allow Tesla cars to drive themselves.

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As of now, the new system is actually lacking most of the features of the older Autopilot, but Musk’s latest announcement indicates that could be about to change next week.

That means we could see features such as upgraded autosteer, smart summon, auto lane change, autopark, lane departure warning, collision warning and avoidance, emergency braking, and cruise control activated for the new Autopilot system next week.

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It follows the news that Tesla’s latest software update will cause the cars to match their top speed to the speed limit when using the Autosteer function (via TechCrunch).

Related: Who’s to blame when robot cars get it wrong?

Previously, Autopilot could push the limit by 5mph on undivided highways, but will now observe the limit – though on divided highways, the 90mph global cap still applies.

Musk also stated on Twitter that the testing of the new Autopilot system is making progress, explaining that the “vision neural net” is now “working well”.

Before the full capabilities of the new system are activated, the company has said it needs to acquire millions of miles of real-world driving data, so it will be some time before Tesla cars become fully autonomous.

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Let us know what you think of the developments in the comments.

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