Automotive

Tesla's Autopilot software upgrade due this week

Musk says the update will take around five days to roll out to customers around the world
Musk says the update will take around five days to roll out to customers around the world
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Musk says that following "lots of upgrades and a new look" in version 7, 7.1 will include a larger overhaul of the main user interface.
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Musk says that following "lots of upgrades and a new look" in version 7, 7.1 will include a larger overhaul of the main user interface.
Musk says that following "lots of upgrades and a new look" in version 7, 7.1 will include a larger overhaul of the main user interface.
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Musk says that following "lots of upgrades and a new look" in version 7, 7.1 will include a larger overhaul of the main user interface.
Musk says the update will take around five days to roll out to customers around the world
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Musk says the update will take around five days to roll out to customers around the world

A long-awaited software update from Tesla adding elements of autonomy to its all-electric vehicles is set to be rolled out this week. CEO Elon Musk has revealed that Tesla Version 7 software with Autopilot is set for a worldwide release this Thursday, featuring other upgrades and a fresh new look for its user interface.

Musk outlined part of his vision for autonomous vehicles at a conference earlier this year, though he did emphasize it would be a gradual process. "It’s not going to all transition immediately," Musk said at the time. "It’ll take quite a while."

So in keeping with this outlook, the software update won't repurpose the Model S or newly launched Model X as self-driving miracle machines. Rather, it will see the integration of some semi-autonomous features, such as parking assist and autopilot on major highways, though this will still require the driver to be behind the wheel and paying attention.

In announcing the release of the software on Twitter over the weekend, Musk didn't go into great detail about the new features. He did say, however, that following "lots of upgrades and a new look" in version 7, the 7.1 update will include a larger overhaul of the main user interface.

The Autopilot software was first released to a number of beta testers in August and Musk says the update will take around five days to roll out to customers around the world. The update will function the same across both the Model S and Model X.

Source: Twitter

2 comments
Mel Tisdale
I cannot see autonomous vehicles making it into production - there are too many of Mr Taleb's 'black swans' for that to happen. However, the technology has the potential to provide some great driver assistance features. In preparation for same, there are things that could be being done now in readiness: 1 digital road maps should be developed for all types of vehicle. These would have speed limits/restrictions (preferably fixed by recording the average speed of police vehicles not running under blues and twos), width restrictions, including width of carriageway (every 5 meters, say) and height restrictions, where appropriate, weight restrictions and any other information that an onboard control/navigation system might usefully need, such as lane priorities, one-way streets, etc. (The height, width and weight of the parent vehicle is obviously essential.) These maps would be updated on the move as the vehicle moved from cell to cell, much like the way a mobile/cell 'phone network operates. Councils could impose temporary restriction for parades, fetes, carnivals etc., while the emergency services could impose temporary diversions, speed restrictions and any other modifications that they deem necessary in order to deal with any emergency situation that they are attending. Traffic volumes could be included so that sat navs could take a diversion onto less congested routes. Those maps could be developed today and sat navs developed to use them. 2 Vehicle hardware could be developed that could be controlled by a driver assistance package as and when they go into production. For example,there is no reason why the fitment of 'fly by wire' throttles should not be mandatory for all new vehicles, so that speeding and running red lights would be things of the past by the simple fitment of temporary control box. Needless to say, adaptive cruise control would be simplicity itself. 3 Assuming the driver must always be ready and able to take over the controls (they would always retain control of the steering, if only to discourage reading or playing games), a standard haptic feedback steering column could be developed that had vibration patterns that informed the driver that they need to take a specific exit, move into another lane, beware of tight width or height restrictions or simply wake up because they are exhibiting symptoms of drowsiness. 4 If vehicles really are going to be autonomous, then there will be the need for very precise inertial navigation for when the GPS signal is lost (because it has been jammed or the vehicle is driving under thick foliage, or in a tunnel). Note, to simply have advanced driver assistance, this would be an unnecessary cost because the driver can see where they need to go. There could, however, be a 'cheap and cheerful' system for such vehicles that measured road speed and steering from the rotation of the non-driven wheels. This could then provide advice, not commands. This is only an outline of what is possible, but at least it should act as a thought starter.
warren52nz
@Mel My 8 year old Lexus has non-GPS tracking built into its navigation system so it's already old technology. When I drive into underground parking lots the navigation system obviously loses GPS signals but it still tracks my progress around the parking lot so it must be monitoring vehicle speed and steering signals.