After Tesla started pushing the first phase of the new ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ in shadow mode-only to the entire fleet earlier this week, the company is today starting to activate the feature to all cars equipped with the second generation Autopilot hardware.
But CEO Elon Musk is asking Tesla owners to be cautious because some cars will need adjustments.
When Tesla started pushing the first Autopilot features, the cameras around the Model S or X needed to be calibrated and therefore, the features were enabled for a short time when first activating them.
With the introduction of the first phase of the ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ in shadow mode – meaning that the features were running in the background without taking control of the car – it certainly helped with the calibration of the sensors, but Musk says that the Autopilot team discovered that some cars will need to be serviced for “adjustment of camera pitch angle”:
Of course, drivers using Autopilot should remain vigilant and be ready to take control at any time regardless of the update, but it looks like Musk is asking owners to be especially cautious in case their vehicle is among those needing adjustments to the cameras.
Owners should easily know if they need to service their car since the camera calibration will not be completed if the pitch angle is not OK:
Alerts are generally prompt on the instrument cluster in those cases.
Tesla’s new Autopilot hardware suite consists of 8 cameras all-around the vehicles, including 3 forward-facing cameras.
If everything goes well, owners will have access to what Tesla has been referring to as the “first phase of Enhanced Autopilot“. It includes the Autopilot’s Traffic Aware Cruise Control feature, Forward Collision Warning, and Autosteer, but it was only enabled at “low-speed” as a beta feature in the first 1,000 cars that received the feature. It’s not clear if it will be the same for the fleet-wide update.
The new versions of the features are powered by ‘Tesla Vision’, the automaker’s own image processing system, and its machine learning technology. As the company gathers more data from its fleet, the features will improve to reach parity with its first generation Autopilot and hopefully soon surpass it.