Tesla CEO Elon Musk has finally answered what many Tesla owners were dying to know: when the semi-autonomous Autopilot 8.1 software update will be released. According to Musk, Tesla owners will not have to wait long for the update, as it will be around in “three weeks.”
Tesla to release features incrementally
Earlier, Musk announced that the next software update would be available in December. But after a user pushed Musk for more information, the CEO narrowed down the time frame to “three weeks,” but it sounds like not all the features will be available at once. Rather, they will be released incrementally with monthly updates.
@edwardsanchez about three weeks and it will get rolled out incrementally in monthly releases
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 27, 2016
About two months ago, the current version of the software made its debut. However, the 8.0 version of the OS has not gone over very well despite Tesla’s claims that it is the biggest update since the reveal of the Model S. Several users have reported bugs, connectivity issues and missing features, notes Inverse.
The new software update and the release of an Enhanced Autopilot feature could be released around the same time, says Inverse. The latter will let cars achieve the top-rated Level 5 autonomy, a rating that makes it more secure than cars operated by human drivers. By increasing the processing power of the onboard computer and adding several ultrasonic sensors and eight cameras, the update will let the electric car drive completely on its own.
Version 8.0 vs. 8.1
A version of the “On-ramp to Off-ramp” capability is expected to be available on the first-gen Autopilot vehicles with version 8.1 of the operating system. This means that the two generations should remain quite similar after the update. However, the differences will become greater with the start of monthly releases. The “Autosteer” feature will become “Autosteer+,” and the “Summon” feature will become “Smart Summon,” notes Electrek.
With the rollout of Version 8.1, the Autosteer capabilities will allow the car to exit freeways on its own, a huge step towards being a fully-automated car. According to Musk, we could see an Autopiloted Tesla travel cross-country by the end of next year.
In October, the CEO revealed that all future Tesla vehicles will be packed with the self-driving hardware. The automaker depends heavily on software, which powers the interface to get the best safety rating. Traditional vehicles have static features, but Tesla frequently adds new functions and enhancements throughout the life of the vehicle via software updates.