Tesla update halts automatic steering if driver inattentive

Posted September 23, 2016

The new radar functionality will work with any Tesla vehicles made in 2014 and following, which already have the necessary components on-board to enable the new detection features. The system also uses the radar more than before, for example sending the signal underneath the vehicle in front to "view" further ahead.

Tesla describes its newest features through a new Software section on its company website which we've highlighted below.

Tesla's temperature-control function will automatically keep the temperature below 105° Fahrenheit - 40° centigrade - inside the vehicle by automatically opening vents or turning on the air conditioner as needed, Musk tweeted. In all, Tesla claims 200 improvements to Autopilot for Version 8.0.

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The update makes the Model S sedan and Model X SUV more reliant on radar than cameras when driving in Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.

In January, 23-year-old Gao Yaning died in a crash in the northeastern province of Hebei while driving a Tesla Model S. Six months later his father, Gao Jubin, filed a lawsuit accusing Tesla of exaggerating Autopilot's capabilities. Musk said he was inspired to include the feature after reading about the death of a boy in a hot vehicle. In the fatal accident with Autopilot, the driver collided with a tractor-trailer when the software didn't detect it partly because of the white color of the tractor-trailer against the bright sky.

He said he dished out 873,900 kroner (US$105,350) for his auto.

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SHANGHAI-A Chinese man whose son was killed while driving a Tesla Motors Inc. vehicle applied to a local Beijing court to investigate whether the car's Autopilot driving system was engaged.

The company has said the Autopilot system, introduced a year ago, is not a fully autonomous system and drivers are cautioned that they need to be at the wheel and in control. The renowned visionary also revealed in a separate tweet that his favorite new feature that comes with the update is the always-on temperature control functionality that's created to prevent kids and pets from experiencing intense heat inside the vehicles. That means if it gets too hot, the air conditioning will automatically turn on.

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