Musk Tweets On Autopilot Software Upload For New Vehicles

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company began testing Autopilot safety features over the weekend through a software upload to 1,000 new vehicles that have been built with fully-autonomous hardware.

Tesla vehicles built after October with the fully-automated features, in what the company calls “Hardware 2,” were released initially without all the Autopilot semi-autonomous features. They’re being manufactured with different software and hardware that will eventually allow them to be fully self-driving. Tesla’s New Year’s Eve upload added a few Autopilot safety features to bring them in line with older Tesla models.

Musk first tweeted over the “Hardware 2” upgrades on Friday:

“Resolving an Autopilot HW2 bug that shows up when booting from a subzero cold-soak. If that fix works, software will start uploading tmrw.”

On Saturday, he tweeted the upgrade would be going live with a select group:

“HW2 Autopilot software uploading to 1000 cars this eve. Will then hold to verify no field issues and upload to rest of fleet next week.”

tweet

Musk had originally mentioned the upgrade in October as part of the larger launch of the new fully autonomous hardware being installed in new Model S and Model X units coming out of the Fremont, Calif., factory. He gave notice that the new models would temporarily lack a few of the features that had been placed on the “first generation” Autopilot as the company worked on validating the software.

These features used in Tesla vehicles equipped with “Autopilot 1” include safety functions such as automatic emergency breaking, collision warning, and active cruise control.

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Now customers with the “Hardware 2” fully automated suite will have those features. Tesla will bring all of its new vehicles up to parity after the test run is completed on the 1,000 models that received software upgrades over the weekend.

All Tesla vehicles manufactured since October 2014 have Autopilot hardware, which has allowed the company to collect more than 1.3 billion miles of data from these vehicles being driven through diverse road and weather conditions.

Tesla owners could choose to pay more for the Autopilot software feature.

Autopilot and the fully autonomous hardware will probably be discussed when Tesla gives a tour of its $5 billion Gigafactory to investors on January 4.

Automotive News also reported that Tesla had decided not to join automotive industry peers this month at CES in Las Vegas and the Detroit auto show.


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