Tesla released today the version 7.1 of its software for the Model S and X. The new update includes everything we told you about when Tesla started testing the build with beta testers last month: UI improvements, a new self-parking feature, ‘Driver Mode’ and Autopilot restrictions, but the automaker is also introducing the “Summon” feature, which enables the Model S to drive itself without anyone in the car.
Similar to the release of its “Autosteer” feature in October, Tesla is releasing the “Summon” feature in Beta. The feature for now is build on top of the “Autopark” setting and allow the vehicle to park itself in a spot within 39 feet of the vehicle and to drive itself out of a parking space or garage.
Model S owners simply have to use their key fob to initiate the maneuver.
James Majerus received the update this morning and posted a quick demonstration to Youtube of his Model S getting itself out of his garage:
Once it will be combined with Tesla’s upcoming robot charging station (here’s a video of the prototype), the Summon feature is expected to eventually eliminate any hassle having to do with charging your electric car.
Here’s another video of an owner demonstrating the Summon feature with the Homelink garage door system:
Like Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned not long after the release of the beta Autosteer feature, Tesla is pushing some new constraints to the feature to limit some potentially dangerous use of the Autopilot as seen in videos posted online.
From the release notes of the update:
Autosteer is now restricted on residential roads and roads without a center divider. when Autosteer is engaged on a restricted road, Model S’s speed will be limited to the speed limit of the road plus an additional 5 mph. When entering such restricted road, Model S will reduce its speed if necessary and will do so even if you increase the cruise control set speed.
The new restrictions appear to be quite reasonable, but with a lot of Model S owners being early adopters, they enjoyed the freedom to try to explore the limits of the Autopilot system. The Tesla message boards are divided between owners happy with Tesla’s decision for trying to make the system safer and owners frustrated that Tesla is taking away functionalities.
But the update doesn’t only add restrictions to the Autosteer feature, Tesla is also improving on it and claims that the Model S will be better at staying in its lane when lane markings are fading and when passing highway exits.
Here are the release notes for the update (via TMC) for all the new features and details of the v7.1 release: