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Your Tesla will soon steer itself

Tesla is about to perform a major update that will see its cars steer for themselves, taking the first step towards autonomous driving.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk tweeted the news: “Almost ready to release highway autosteer and parallel autopark software update.” Yes, that means the Model S will now keep itself in the right lane on motorways and make parking less embarrassing.

Musk said it is almost possible for the all-electric Model S to go between to locations with little human input, but admitted there were some very specific creases to iron out: “Final corner case is dealing with low contrast lane markings (faded white on grey concrete) while driving into the sun at dusk.”

The new features will likely be added as part of the Autopilot system available on the Model S. Owners will receive the improvements as part of the Version 7 firmware update, but exactly when is unknown.

Tesla is able to update its cars overnight, thanks to internet connectivity. One update saw owners wake up to a slightly faster car from 0-60mph, while another added in a warning if you set a route destination that would see you run out of charge.

In the case of the latest Model S, the dual motor, Tesla added a larger 90kWh battery option to give buyers more range as wel as something called ‘ludicrous’ mode, which takes the 0-60mph time down to 2.8 seconds for the top-spec model. How many seven-seaters do you know that can leave a Ferrari behind?

Full autonomous driving is an aim for Musk and his eco-friendly electric cars, but he has expressed concerns over artificial intelligence (AI), claiming it is the human race’s biggest existential threat. He is currently campaigning with theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking to ban AI offensive autonomous weapons.

Other car manufacturers are also working on self-driving cars and many already have lane assist built in, including fairly accessible cars like the Hyundai Tucscon.

Here’s our Tesla Model S P85D first drive, in case you fancy joining the luxury side of the green revolution.


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