Tesla to Update Autopilot Function by Adding Full Self-Driving Feature in August
Musk said the autopilot issue during lane-merging is better in the current software and will be fully fixed in the August update.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Photo: Reuters)
Shares of Tesla Inc rose as much as 5 percent after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted that its Autopilot driver assistance system will get full self-driving features following a software upgrade in August. Autopilot, a form of advanced cruise control, handles some driving tasks and warns those behind the wheel they are always responsible for the vehicle's safe operation. But a spate of recent crashes has brought the system under regulatory scrutiny.
"To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features," Musk tweeted to a Twitter user. Musk said the autopilot issue during lane-merging is better in the current software and will be fully fixed in the August update.
That issue is better in latest Autopilot software rolling out now & fully fixed in August update as part of our long-awaited Tesla Version 9. To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 10, 2018
However, it was not clear what self-driving features would be included in the August update. Tesla has been gradually upgrading its Autopilot features with regular software updates. Tesla's documentation on its website about the "full self-driving capabilities" package says that it is not possible to know exactly when each element of the functionality will be available, as this is highly dependent on local regulatory approval.
A consumer advocacy group on Friday urged Tesla to fix what it termed as "flaws" in Autopilot after a preliminary government report said a Model X driver did not have his hands on the vehicle's steering wheel in the final six seconds before a fatal crash on March 23.
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"The software update is good news," said analyst Chaim Siegel from Elazar Advisors, adding the stock was still benefiting from last week's prediction by Musk that it would finally hit its production target for its Model 3 sedan.
The company's future profitability hinges on ramping up Model 3 output, and the company has suffered from a series of failures to hit its weekly target.
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