Tesla Finally Keeps Promise To Add Automatic Emergency Brakes

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Tesla pushed out an update for the automatic emergency braking (AEB) system on its newer Model X and Model S vehicles, keeping a promise it had made previously and pleasing the folks at Consumer Reports — somewhat. The magazine had cut its ratings for Tesla’s vehicles last month because the feature was missing, but it has now decided to restore some of the points it had deducted for it.

Partial credit for Tesla’s automatic emergency braking

Today Consumer Reports announced that it has decided to give the automaker partial credit for the update to the automatic emergency braking in the Model S and Model X. The magazine noted that some Tesla owners had been waiting for the feature for as long as six months, as it wasn’t in the Tesla vehicles that have been built since Oct. 19. The company had listed automatic emergency braking as coming standard in its vehicles, so when it was found to be missing, the magazine inquired about it.

Tesla said at the time that it was working on a software update to add the feature, which it finally pushed out on Apr. 26 after a delay. Originally, it had told the magazine that it would have the software update out by the end of 2016. Consumer Reports downgraded its ratings for the Model S and Model X on April 26 due to the continuing lack of automatic emergency braking.

However, as over-the-air software updates are pushed out gradually, the Tesla owned by the magazine didn’t receive that update until the following day. It has now had time to review the feature and decided to give the automaker partial credit for it.

How Tesla could have gotten full credit

Consumer Reports explained today that the software update activates the automatic emergency braking feature up to speeds of 28 miles per hour. However, the AEB feature on the company’s previous vehicles worked at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. As a result, the magazine has decided to restore some of the points it deducted due to the lack of the feature, but it won’t return all of the points until it works at highway speeds. According to Consumer Reports, Tesla told it on Apr. 26 that the feature would “eventually” work at highway speeds, although it didn’t say when that will happen or respond to the messages left by CR requesting a comment for today’s article.

The reason it has taken the magazine so long to restore the points was because it was following up with Tesla customers to verify that all of them received the software update that added AEB to their vehicles. CR added that most Tesla owners received the update with AEB within a week of Apr. 26, but it took longer for the feature to be pushed out to a few owners, namely, those who did not purchase the full autonomous driving feature.

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