Last week, Elon Musk said that Tesla’s highly anticipated 8.1 update was coming March 28-29 and he delivered this time. We reviewed reports of the update 8.1 (17.11.3) being rolled out to Tesla owners with Autopilot 2.0 hardware.
The 8.1 software update was also supposed to bring some UI improvements, but so far the release notes focus on bringing the Autopilot 2.0 system to parity with the first generation.
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It increases the speed limit of the Autosteer feature to 80 mph (128 km/h) – up from 55 mph.
Tesla warns that the cameras will need calibration before Autosteer can be used at that kind of speed:
“Model S requires calibration before you can use Autosteer at driving speeds greater than 55 mph. Until the vehicle has finished calibrating, which takes place automatically over several days of driving on well-marked highways.”
Drivers can still use the system up to 55 mph in the meantime.
The Summon feature, which allows Tesla owners to move their vehicle in and out of parking spaces without anyone in the car, was until now only available with the first generation Autopilot. It is being introduced as a “beta” feature under the new hardware suite using ‘Tesla Vision’, the automaker’s own image processing system.
Tesla is also releasing ‘Auto Lane Change’, which is the last main feature of Autopilot 1.0 and allows for the driver to initiate a lane change simply by using the turn signal when Autosteer is activated.
Depending on the efficiency of those new features on the new hardware, Tesla could be close to feature parity with the first generation Autopilot.
Here are pictures of the release notes for 8.1 (17.11.3) via laklan on Reddit:
There’s currently no sign of the Linux kernel update and the new browser, which were expected with 8.1, but it’s still early in the rollout. Only a few Tesla owners with AP2 cars are reporting having received the update overnight.
We will report back when we have more information about the rollout and how the update will hopefully affect not only cars with new Autopilot hardware, but also pre-October 2016 Tesla vehicles.