New Tesla software to offer 'full' autonomy, Musk says


The features will be "enabled" on Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot 2.0. Although stories about Tesla "drivers" sleeping and sitting in the passenger seat - and, unfortunately, crashing while reliant on the system - abound, Autopilot is only meant to operate under constant driver supervision. Despite its name, Tesla's existing Autopilot technology is not true self-driving capability, but a set of advanced safety features that have also helped Tesla gather data for training its self-driving software.

The V9 update may technically make drivers safer, but Telsa and other makers of autonomous vehicles appear to still have a way to go in building public trust in self-driving vehicles. Instead, Tesla's new auto will be a halo product, with performance to beat even the fastest petrol production cars ever made.

At the unveiling event, Musk had revealed a list of extraordinarily impressive specifications for the automaker's upcoming supercar, saying that it would boast a range of 620 miles, and will have the ability to accelerate from 0-60 mph in barely 1.9 seconds.

"The software update is good news", said Chaim Siegel, an analyst with Elazar Advisors, adding that Tesla shares were still benefiting from Musk's prediction last week that the company would finally hit its production target for its Model 3 sedan.

General Motors said last week that its driver assistance feature, Super Cruise, will allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel for extended periods, but will stop the vehicle automatically if drivers are not attentive.

Beyond the Enhanced Autopilot suite, Tesla also offers Full Self-Driving Capability as an option on its cars.

The key words in Musk's tweet are "begin to enable". With that in mind, there's no telling whether the promised August update will see some of this functionality rolled out.