Tesla has been promising a significant new update to the Autopilot software for a while now and Elon Musk, along with a few other executives, have been teasing the quality of the new version over the last few months.
Electrek has now learned the first details of this new update as Tesla started beta testing the new build.
Sources familiar with the matter told Electrek that the only new feature is the ability of Autopilot 2.0 to detect and render on the instrument cluster vehicles driving in lanes adjacent to the lane in which the Tesla vehicle is driving.
The bigger difference is the improvements to existing Autopilot features, like Autosteer, due to a much more advanced neural net system to power the Autopilot’s computer vision.
Drivers are seeing a significant improvement in lane detection, a reduction of “ping-ponging” within a lane, and a generally better experience when Autosteer is activated.
Tesla started beta testing the customer version of the build, which is generally the last step before pushing it to the fleet, but that’s dependent on the feedback from the test.
Therefore, it’s not clear when it’s going to be released, but it’s getting closer.
He added that “early access build and especially Dev build are feature-rich, but the features aren’t reliable enough yet.”
So this new update is definitely not “feature rich”, but the backend has clearly been significantly updated with a much more advanced neural net powering a heavier computer vision code.
Depending on who you talk to, Autopilot 1 is still better in some highway driving situations than the current release of Autopilot 2.
This new update is likely going to fix that. Two drivers we spoke to said it was now equal or better than Autopilot 1 for highway driving.
The new update is also likely to improve significantly once pushed to the fleet and “trained” by Tesla owners.
It seems to be the biggest update since Tesla hired Andrej Karpathy, a neural net and computer vision expert, to lead Tesla’s AI and Autopilot vision program last year.
With this new update, I don’t think Tesla is reaching the promised level of “Enhanced Autopilot” with features like Autosteer+, Smart Summon, ‘On-ramp to Off-ramp’, which would enable what sounds like level 3 autonomous driving on the highway, but it could be an update that will bring back hope for the Tesla owners frustrated with Autopilot progress since the launch of the second generation hardware.