Months after releasing a beta version of its Navigate on Autopilot feature, which is an important step toward automated highway driving, Tesla is now starting to roll out a new version of the feature that enables automatic lane-change without confirmation.
The update also includes the new Enhanced Summon feature.
Navigate on Autopilot was supposed to be in the first release of Tesla’s v9 software update, but they decided to pull it for further validation.
The feature was supposed to enable on-ramp to off-ramp driving on the highway with the system doing all its own lane changes based on speed and the destination entered in the navigation system.
As we reported last year, Tesla started releasing the feature in its 2018.42 software update, but it doesn’t automatically perform the lane changes. Navigate on Autopilot suggests the lane changes and the drivers need to initiate them with the blinker stall.
Now CEO Elon Musk says that Tesla started rolling the feature without the need to confirm the lane changes in an update last week:
Started rolling it out a few days ago. Always starts slow, find rare corner case issues, fix them, continue rollout …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 17, 2019
The CEO warned that the rollout will be slow as they identify corner cases to fix them before expanding to the wider fleet.
The feature has been tested by Tesla owners in the early access program for weeks now.
Along with the updated version of Autopilot, Tesla is also apparently starting to release Enhanced Summon, an updated version of Tesla’s Summon feature.
Earlier this month, we published an exclusive first look at Tesla’s new Enhanced Summon, which virtually enables self-driving in parking lots.
In the beta release notes, Tesla describes Summon as “a parking assist feature that helps you bring your car towards you or towards the destination of your choice by navigating out of parking spaces and maneuvering around objects as necessary.”
Those are features Tesla has been talking about since October 2016. It’s great to finally see them make their ways to customers.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that those features are still in beta and users should always make sure to stay vigilant and be ready to take control at all time.
If it’s done correctly, they should make driving more convenient without negatively impacting safety, but that’s dependent on both Tesla making the features safe and drivers using those features as intended.
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