Tesla cars can now park themselves, but autopilot limited

Tesla's new software update curbs some of the original functionality of the semi-autonomous system, dubbed Autopilot. Among the other changes to Autopilot is more accurate steering.

Beck Diefenbach/Reuters/File
Autopilot features are demonstrated in a Tesla Model S during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, Calif. last year.

Late last year we saw Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] beam across a software update for its Model S that allowed the car to steer itself in certain situations. Videos posted to YouTube soon after the release of the software update showed owners using the system incorrectly, leading to Tesla releasing a new software update, version 7.1, which curbs some of the original functionality of the semi-autonomous system, dubbed Autopilot.

The system, now also available on the Model X, has been restricted on residential roads without a center divider. When the system is engaged on a restricted road, the speed will be limited to the speed limit of the road plus an additional 5 mph. When entering such a restricted road, the car will reduce its speed if necessary and will do so even if the driver increases the cruise control set speed.

Among the other changes to Autopilot is more accurate steering. The system has been improved to keep the car in its current lane when passing highway exits or other turn offs, and also to keep the car in its current lane when lane markings are faded. Previously the car could swerve thinking it needed to take one the exits. The visuals in the instrument cluster have also been updated for improved readability.

Another key change is the addition of a new Summon feature. Designed for a garage at home, Summon allows you to automatically open your garage door (when linked) and have the car parked and eventually switched off without you needing to be in thevehicle. It also works in reverse. But what if you have the car plugged in charging? Tesla says Summon is currently in a Beta stage but eventually it will work together with something like the creepy robotic arm charging system previously previewed by the company.

The goal for Tesla is eventually to have an Autopilot system so advanced that itscars will be able to drive anywhere across the country to meet you, charging itself along the way. It will synchronize with your calendar to know exactly when to arrive.

CEO Elon Musk says such capability will be possible within two years but don’t count on seeing driverless Teslas zipping around the country as legislation, along with the general public’s acceptance of the technology, will likely take a little while longer to catch up.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Tesla cars can now park themselves, but autopilot limited
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today