Subscribe

Elon Musk: Self-driving Tesla Model S will be here in three months

The Model S will get a software update in about three months that will include some basic self-driving functions, including reading speed limit signs and making lane changes, according to Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. 

  • close
    Tesla representative John Van Cleave, right, shows customers Sarah and Robert Reynolds, left, and Vince Giardina, a new Tesla Model S all electric car, at a Tesla showroom inside the Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati.
    Charles Krupa/AP/File
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

There’s been a flurry of news concerning Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] and its compulsive Tweeting CEO Elon Musk these past couple of weeks, and it looks like the pace of news isn’t about to slow anytime soon. Today, we have details about new self-driving features coming to the Model S.

Last fall, Tesla announced an "Autopilot" feature that provided the Model S with some basic self-driving functions, such as being able to read speed signs and make lane changes. Eventually, the Autopilot will be enhanced via software updates to give the Model S self-driving capability on the highway from on-ramp to off-ramp, though there’s been no mention of a timeframe for this—until now.

According to Musk, who thinks fully autonomous cars may one day lead to actual driving being outlawed, a software update scheduled for release in about three months will enable the Model S to handle highways and major roads by itself. Speaking in a conference call, he said that the self-driving technology was technically capable of handling urban areas, though he said Tesla will disable the Autopilot in these situations, citing safety concerns.

"It is technically capable of going from parking lot to parking lot," Musk said. "But we won't be enabling that for users with this hardware suite, because we don't think it's likely to be safe in suburban neighborhoods." Issues he noted included a lack of posted speed limit signs and obstacles such as children playing on the road.

During the call, Musk also revealed that the Autopilot feature will allow a Model S to be summoned by the driver via smartphone or told to go park itself. That feature will be allowed only on private property for now, however.

These features will be offered through a firmware update version 7.0. In the coming weeks, Tesla will release firmware update 6.2 that aims to help deal with range anxiety in addition to offering improved accelerator and brake feel, a new 155 mph top speed for the Model S P85D, and some new safety features, like automatic emergency braking and blind-spot warning.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best auto bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK