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Tesla has begun rolling out an update which will allow drivers of its cars to beta test the latest version of it Autopilot software.
According to IEEE Spectrum, the blog for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the update is designed to put the system through scenarios which Tesla’s engineers couldn’t even begin to imagine.
If you’re thinking you should start avoiding any Teslas you see on the road, it’s probably worth mentioning that the update won’t suddenly turn drivers into passengers. In fact, the version of the software being tested here is only a slight upgrade from the current version.
Autopilot will manage lane-keeping, mind the gap to the car in front and behind, and handle much of the braking and acceleration. Users will still have to show their alertness by hitting the indicator stalk for lane changes for instance.
“We don’t want to set the expectation that you can basically pay no attention to what the car is doing,” Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO and CTO said in a recent earnings call. According to Musk, the system is particularly good when it comes to tracking another car in front of it.
“You basically have high confidence in steering, braking and acceleration, basically when you are in some kind of traffic situation where there is a car right in front of you,” he said. “I think it’s pretty good in the absence of that, so if there’s just lanes, it’s pretty good. And it will get better over time as we refine the software.”