Following Tesla’s latest Autopilot update, a picture of the instrument cluster in a Model S is appearing on various Tesla forums and Facebook groups. The update adds a new enhanced Autopilot feature to cars with second-generation hardware.
Drivers must not rely on stop sign feature
According to Electrek, a version of the Autopilot update with a tiny bit of the new version was released in the first 1,000 cars with the new hardware, “but it wasn’t intended to be in the latest customer build since the system still doesn’t act on the stop signs.” Although the feature is not present in the cars, if any driver happens to see that Autopilot is detecting a stop sign, they should not depend on it.
The Palo Alto-based car maker has a self-driving build of the software for the latest Autopilot hardware suite that is capable of identifying and acting on intersections with stop signs, and this has been demonstrated in the released videos.
“But the feature is still only part of the development program of its fully self-driving system and not intended for the ‘Enhanced Autopilot,’” says Electrek.
Tesla deployed a new trifocal front-facing camera system in the second-generation Autopilot to track road signs and traffic lights. However, the correct version of ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ is designed for use on highways and in traffic rather than handling intersections, notes Electrek.
Cruise control and Autosteer still in beta
Tesla will push out the first phase of ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ to more cars this week, but owners should not wait for stop signs. Still, drivers will get a string of new Autopilot features, such as Aware Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, and Autosteer. All these features, however, will be “low speed” beta feature.
Tesla owner Kendall Cain has provided various screenshots to Electrek, suggesting that the new cruise control and autosteer features are still in beta. The EV firm said in a note that drivers need to “maintain control and responsibility of your vehicle.”
Controversies around Autopilot last year
The company was subjected to controversy throughout the last year due to Autopilot-related crashes in the United States and other countries. This could have been either due to improper use or compromised operation of the Autopilot software.
One of the major incidents occurred last year in May when Tesla owner Joshua Brown succumbed to injuries after his Model S sedan rammed a truck. The Autopilot feature could not recognize the white side of the truck as an object and failed to apply the brakes. Federal agencies are investigating the matter.