Tesla didn’t want to start the new year on a bad note by missing a deadline with its Autopilot update for new cars to work is its ‘Tesla Vision’ image processing system and while it didn’t bring the system to parity with the last generation Autopilot, the company sort of kept its ‘December 2016’ goal for the release of ‘Enhanced Autopilot’, but it’s only what the automaker is calling the “first phase” of the new features.
As we reported yesterday, Tesla started pushing the update to the first 1,000 cars in its fleet. It includes the Autopilot’s Traffic Aware Cruise Control feature, Forward Collision Warning, and Autosteer, but it will only be enabled at “low-speed” as a beta feature.
Kendall Cain, a reader who had the chance to be among those first 1,000 Tesla owners, sent us the release notes. Tesla wrote in the notes of the new update:
The first phase of Enhanced Autopilot features is now available on your vehicle. We’ve designed these new Autopilot features to give you more confidence behind the wheel, increase your safety on the road, and make driving in traffic less frustrating. Similar to the autopilot function in airplanes, you need to maintain control and responsibility of your vehicle while enjoying the convenience of Autopilot in Model S.
The company added:
These features operate on a new hardware and software platform. Therefore, their rollout will be measured and cautious until we have generated confidence across several hundred million miles of real-world usage. Enhanced Autopilot will become better over time as this experience is gained and corner cases are addressed. In the meantime, it is particularly important that you remain vigilant and in control when using driver assistance features.
Tesla is being extremely cautious in letting owners know to be careful in the use of the new Autopilot throughout the release notes.
Here are the release notes in full:
What is particularly interesting is that it’s the first time features inside the vehicles are powered by the new hardware suite and Tesla Vision.
From here, Tesla will be able to improve those features and introduce new ones every few months with the end goal still being the release of ‘fully self-driving capability’ around the end of the year, according to CEO Elon Musk.