Out of all the features currently requested by Tesla owners for an over-the-air update, automatic windshield wipers might very well be the most requested.
After roughly a year of delays, CEO Elon Musk now says that it is coming “very soon.”
The feature used to be standard on Tesla’s vehicles until the automaker introduced its second generation Autopilot hardware suite in October 2016.
With all the new promised Autopilot features based on the new hardware, automatic windshield wipers were on the back burner as Tesla focused on safety features enabled by the new hardware suite, according to the CEO.
But a few hours after his Tweetstorm yesterday, Musk told a Twitter follower that the feature is coming “very soon”:
Musk did mention that the feature was coming in the past few months, but it has been delayed before.
The high level of interest for the feature is surprising to some, but it’s more understandable within the relevant context.
First off, it’s generally a standard feature, especially for luxury vehicles like Model S and Model X.
Secondly, AP1 Model S and Model X vehicles already had the feature and many owners ended up upgrading to AP2 cars. While the Autopilot features eventually (for the most part) caught up on the new generation hardware, the feature never came, which made it stuck out.
It was never exactly clear what delayed automatic windshield wipers from being introduced on AP2 cars.
The current main theory is that Tesla didn’t include a rain sensor on the second generation Autopilot hardware, at least not a visible one, thinking that they would be able to use the suite’s cameras to replace the sensor and introduce the feature.
That could have proven to be more difficult than anticipated, which could have delayed the rollout, but it’s only a theory at this point.
Either way, it’s apparently now coming “very soon” – whatever that means on Elon’s Time…