Tesla’s Model S Becomes Nearly Self-Driving Car

The car maker unveiled a new software that will allow using a Model S hands-free.

Tesla's Model S is upgraded with the new software that allows driving a car hands-free. Photo: Tesla

Tesla’s Model S is upgraded with the new software that allows driving a car hands-free. Photo: Tesla

It’s not enough for Elon Musk just to introduce a new car and start working on the next model. Instead Tesla’s founder seeks ways to create over-the-air upgrades to current vehicles.

“Model S is designed to to keep getting better over time,” Tesla claims on its official website.

The latest software update is landing in its electric cars tomorrow with a slew of new autopilot features. They won’t drive you around town, but will make highway driving and parking a bit easier.

“This isn’t a fully autonomous vehicle in the vein of a Google car, though — the primary feature is what Tesla calls Autosteer, which keeps the car in its current lane once you’re already on the road and manages speed and distance from the car ahead. On the call, Elon Musk was careful to call out Autosteer as a “beta” feature — drivers are told to keep their hands on the wheel, even when the function is engaged,” The Verge explains.

“Once I settled in and rested my confidence — and fate — squarely on the shoulders of the Model S, I really enjoyed the experience. I have ridden in autonomous cars before: a prototype Audi A7, for example,” Mashable’s Nick Jaynes shares his experience.

“In the Tesla, however, I felt much more at ease. That might be mostly due to the fact that, in the Audi, I had an engineer in the passenger and back seats monitoring the vehicle systems. This does not driver confidence build. In the Tesla, it was just me, a heap of sensors, the car and the road.”

“I’ve driven autonomous and semi-autonomous cars — both in production and concept form — and none worked as smoothly, as carefully or as competently as the Model S,” Jaynes concluded.

“We want people to be quite careful” at first, Musk said, while admitting that “some people” may take their hands off the wheel regardless. “We do not advise that,” he added.

The next version of the just revealed software is expected to have the ability to send the vehicle off to a garage on its own and come back to pick you up.

Meanwhile, Tesla doesn’t forget to remind drivers to keep their hands on the wheel when a car performs self-driving features.

“If there is an accident, the driver of the car is responsible,” the company CEO said, while also noting that there would eventually be a time that self-driving vehicles are safe and reliable enough to abdicate drivers of that liability entirely.

The news about the updated software for Model S came two weeks after Tesla unveiled Model X – the company’s first SUV.

The Model X is the third vehicle the company. The crossover follows the Roadster — which was discontinued in 2012 — and the Model S. The Silicon Valley resident believes that the novelty would attract new customers — particularly women — to the brand.By the way, U.S. luxury SUV sales were up 17 percent through August, five times better than the industry as a whole.

Share this article

We welcome comments that advance the story directly or with relevant tangential information. We try to block comments that use offensive language, all capital letters or appear to be spam, and we review comments frequently to ensure they meet our standards. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Coinspeaker Ltd.