Tesla is very tentatively rolling out its version 9 software update through its early access owner program before a wider fleet release, which was supposed to come last week.
CEO Elon Musk now comments on Tesla’s work to get the update ready.
While the firmware update includes a significant user interface refresh and several new features, the biggest change arguably has to do with Autopilot.
We have already discussed the new ‘Navigate on Autopilot’ feature and the ‘Mad Max’ mode, but the driver assist system also features performance improvements.
It sounds like those changes still need to be validated before a wider release.
Last night, a Twitter user asked Musk to “release version 9 to everyone” and the CEO responded:
Tesla Autopilot team is awesome! Got to make sure we iron out the details though. Long tail of tricky edge cases. Important to get front wide angle, B pillar & side repeater camera neural nets just right.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 2, 2018
Sources familiar with the matter told Electrek that Tesla already pushed three different versions of the new software through its early release program.
It sounds like some of those new versions might include the “ironing out” of the details as mentioned by Musk.
The main change appears to be that Tesla rolled back the ability of ‘Navigate on Autopilot’ to initiate its own lane changes without the driver confirming them.
In the comment, Musk added that Tesla is working on the neural nets specific to the front wide angle, B pillar and side repeater cameras.
Autopilot has so far been mainly using the two other front-facing cameras for its vision system.
With the version 9 software update, it now sounds like Tesla would utilize more of its extensive sensor suite installed on all cars since the launch of Autopilot HW2.
It certainly makes sense to use the side cameras if you are going to automatically do lane changes.
Considering Musk’s comment saying that they are still working on that, it might mean that the automatic lane changes without confirmation could still come back in upcoming versions after they figure it out.
As I previously stated, I am fairly impressed by the changes to Autopilot with version 9 based on what we have seen so far.
It’s definitely long overdue for longtime AUtopilot 2.0 owners, but it looks like the wait might be worth it.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.