TESLA is installing its most advanced Autopilot update across all of its models’ sat-nav.
The cars can now steer themselves when changing lanes on motorways with four different turning speed settings – disabled, mild, average and Mad Max.
The ‘Navigate on Autopilot’ update is being rolled out in the United States first, and will apply to other countries only pending each region’s autonomous regulations and approval. The US deemed the system legal, and hence, safe.
Only customers who have purchased the Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-Driving Capability packages will benefit from the feature.
Tesla says that the initial versions of the semi-autonomous tech will require the driver to approve changing lanes by using the indicator.
However, upcoming updates will allow car owners to turn off the fail-safe if they choose to.
Further to changing lanes, the car will be able to automatically steer when using slip roads and motorway exits.
It’s also designed to change lanes when overtaking cars in front to stay as close as possible to the pre-set cruise control speed.
Eight external cameras, radars and ultrasonic sensors map out the car’s surroundings to establish if it is safe to turn into another lane.
To turn the system on and off, drivers have to double tap the indicator.
Tesla said in the announcement: “While drivers should always be attentive when using Autopilot, stalk confirmation for lane changes allows us to ensure that drivers are paying attention at the exact moment they need to – and combined with the redundancy of eight external cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors – it provides an additional layer of safety that two eyes alone would not have.”
The Autopilot has collected data from more than one billion miles or real-world driving.
Despite this, Tesla warns “until truly driverless cars are validated and approved by regulators, drivers are responsible for and must remain in control of their car at all times”.