Tesla’s latest Autopilot updates for vehicles with the second generation hardware made several major improvements that virtually brought the system developed by Tesla to feature parity with the original system powered by Mobileye.
It now opens the door to start improving on the technology and take advantage of the much more advanced hardware suite.
Today, CEO Elon Musk started hyping an upcoming software update that will introduce a new control algorithm that he described as “smooth as silk”.
The latest update pushed to the fleet earlier this month lifted the strict speed limits on Autopilot and now the system’s two main features, Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control, have speed limits of 90 mph on highways and are limited to 5 mph over the limit when off highways.
That made the restrictions equal to Tesla’s first generation Autopilot, but Musk agreed that while the new system was safe enough to remove the limits, he described the driving experience as “unpleasant”.
Some owners had complained of the Autosteer and TACC being rougher than what they were used to.
During a tweetstorm Sunday evening, Musk announced that an update coming next month should fix the issue:
It sounds like the update is being tested internally with success. Musk added that Tesla is working on refining the vision and control software
Musk confirmed that second generation Autopilot cars should also get automatic perpendicular parking and auto windshield wipers next month:
The vehicles already have automatic parallel parking in their ‘Autopark’ features powered by Autopilot, but the latest update didn’t include perpendicular parking.
The CEO also said that the Linux kernel upgrade for Tesla’s vehicles is coming soon.
The kernel upgrade was first associated with Tesla’s 8.1 update, which came in March, but it didn’t end up featuring the update nor the promised improved browser.
Over the past ~6 months, Tesla’s software team has been focusing on delivering software for the second-generation Autopilot cars while non-Autopilot and first generation Autopilot cars have seen little to no new features or fixes aside from a few UI changes and a new mobile app.
Hopefully for owners, the kernel update will come with several bug fixes and features that owners have been asking for since 8.o0 and Tesla can start working on the ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ features for second generation Autopilot vehicles. The next few months should be exciting on that front.