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Tesla self-driving cars to be enabled through an ‘AutoPilot’ update

Tesla Motors’ (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has announced that an update for software in all-electric cars will turn them into autonomous vehicles. The ‘autopilot’ update is expected to be released in three months and will replace the current version 7.0.tesla-model-d

The autonomous features will be available only on freeways as sensors will detect white lines, for driving the car between them. Tesla claims to offer super-cruise control, including detection of pedestrians. More updates will bring in the ability of the user to drive the vehicle automatically to a place or back to the garage using a smartphone.

“By contrast, Model S gets faster, smarter and better as time passes,” said Tesla in a blog post.

The company has assured improved functionality, performance and user experience and mentioned that they wanted to improve cars in ways most people didn’t imagine possible. A Range Assurance application has been added in the new update that runs in the background. The feature enables checks with Tesla’s charging stations and notifies the driver when the car needs power.

Though  Musk has a track record of fulfilling promises, the company is likely to face a tough task in convincing government authorities. The chief executive mentioned that occupants will be expected to pay attention similar to an autonomous driving mode in airplanes. Other features in the version 6.2 include integration with Trip Planner application that displays the routes, available charging stations and traffic conditions.

Safety features include automatic braking to reduce the speed as much as possible in the event of a collision. A new Valet mode will slow down the driving speed and will disable display of personal information. Users can expect better radio reception and audio codec for hi-fi. The vehicles cruise-control has also been upgraded.

Tesla’s self-driving cars are a step ahead than the Mercedes S500’s autopilot mode that has similar features like automatic braking and course corrections.

Earlier in October 2014, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla Dual Motor Model S (rumored as Tesla Model D) as the best and most powerful car. The D in the name signifies dual, meaning that it has 2 motors that make it accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 3 seconds. The previous models were rear driven and this is the second car from Tesla, which is an all-wheel drive.

Another significant feature of Dual Motor Model S is the auto-pilot mode. It was rumored to be a self-driven model, but for now that is not the case. The launch unveiled a car that can sense mishaps before they happen. It can also park itself easily without a driver. It can read signs and perform functions like signaling (read warning) the driver, apply brakes when needed and most importantly, safeguard you from accidents. The intelligent autonomous system of the car can even change lanes and turn towards the direction you signal.

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