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Tesla starts testing software v7.1 with an updated UI, a new self-parking feature, ‘Driver Mode’ and Autopilot restrictions

mobileye_cameras_dataWe recently reported on Tesla starting to push new Autopilot restrictions to some Model S owners last Sunday – about a month after Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned of upcoming constraints to limit some potentially dangerous use of the Autopilot as seen in videos posted online.

The Model S owners reporting on forums having received the update with new Autopilot restrictions have quickly removed their posts. We now learn through sources with knowledge of matter that Tesla started testing the new version 7.1 of its software with a select group of Model S owners this week.

The new update includes UI improvements, a new self-parking feature, ‘Driver Mode’ and Autopilot restrictions.

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Tesla hid a The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Easter Egg in its Autopilot software release

42 easter eggTesla Motors is known for hiding easter eggs in its software and the recent Autopilot v7.0 update is no exception. A year ago, a Model S owner figured out that by entering “007” in the access code of his car, the rendering of the Model S on the screen changes into James Bond’s submarine Lotus which Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought at an auction in 2013. Earlier this year, it was a Space Balls reference with the Ludicrous update and now it is an allusion to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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Tesla reveals all the details of its ‘Autopilot’ and its software v7.0 [slide presentation and audio conference]

press01_autopilot_dash

This afternoon Tesla CEO Elon Musk held a press conference to explain the Autopilot features included in the update v7.0, which the company will start releasing tomorrow to Model S owners.

If you have been following our coverage of the beta Autopilot, you have a good idea of the capabilities of the system, but Musk revealed a few more details and explained Tesla’s approach to the release.

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Video of Tesla’s Autopilot and software v7.0 in action

autopilot in action

In our series of exclusive articles about Tesla’s beta Autopilot and v7.0 software update, we described in details its capabilities and functions, but we couldn’t publish any pictures or videos of the systems in action in order to protect our sources.

But as the wide release of the update is getting closer, we found a video (via TMC) of a Model S owner apparently from China running v7.0 with Autopilot and testing the system with Autosteer and TACC on the highway.

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Tesla will release its software v7.0 with Autopilot on Thursday Oct. 15

screen-shot-2015-08-21-at-6-19-23-pmTesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter Saturday night that his company will release its software v7.0 with Autopilot for the Model S on Thursday (October 15th). In mid-August Tesla sent out the first release of the beta update to about 600-700 early access testers all around the U.S. and parts of Europe. This particular update is an extremely anticipated one. It includes an important UI design overhaul, but also and more importantly several new ‘Autopilot’ features, which some Model S owners have been waiting for over a year now.

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Road test: Model S equipped with Tesla’s v7 Beta Autopilot [Part 2] surface streets and parking

screen-shot-2015-08-21-at-6-19-23-pmThis is part 2 of my report on the beta version of Tesla’s Autopilot. Please read part 1 if you haven’t yet. 

Most advanced commercially available autonomous features

The language about the responsibility around the ‘Autopilot’ is somewhat straight-forward. The system is clearly not intended to turn the Model S into a self-driving vehicle with a bunch of redundant autonomous features, but it’s rather an evolutionary step toward self-driving. It alleviates some tasks for the driver, but without ever taking any responsibility.

Tesla uses very clear legal language throughout the beta release to place all the responsibilities with the driver. The driver can and should take over control if he or she thinks it’s necessary.

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I rode in a Model S equipped with Tesla’s v7 Beta Autopilot – Here’s how it works [Part 1]

In mid-August Tesla sent out the first release of its beta v7.0 software update to early access testers all around the U.S. and parts of Europe. This particular update is an extremely anticipated one, not just because of the UI design overhaul, but because it includes several new ‘Autopilot’ features, which some Model S owners have been waiting for close to a year now.

We wrote a first look at the update when the release came out and we followed-up with Tesla’s second release of the beta v7.0 earlier this month.  Now this weekend I had the opportunity to fly out and have a complete (unofficial) walk-through of the new update and more importantly, I got to experience the new ‘Autopilot’ features.

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First Look at Tesla’s v7.0 software update with Autopilot: auto-steering, UI refresh and parking assist

Sources familiar with Tesla’s new firmware update explained that version 7.0, which is currently being tested and should be released later this year, will include auto-steering, lane change activated by the turn signal, auto-parking (in parallel spaces) and an updated UI (see picture above).

A few months ago, I wrote an in-depth article about Tesla’s Autopilot, its hardware and its limitations. I based the article on information Tesla released when first unveiling the Dual motor version of the Model S in October last year. The company has since been advertising the Model S with the autopilot features, but owners have only been enjoying a fraction of what was promised during the unveiling.

Now, based on what we are learning about the upcoming software update, Tesla appears to be set to deliver on these promises, or at least most of them…



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