Tesla self-driving software update begins roll out though company says to use with caution

Tesla station in Haikou, Hainan, China (Anna Frodesiak/WikiCommons)

Tesla owners who want to tap into a self-driving feature when traveling local streets got a boost this weekend, when the electric car maker began releasing a much anticipated software update, reports say.

The updates to the Full Self-Driving beta version 9 became available Saturday according to tech publication The Verge, and Electrek, a news site dedicated to reports about Tesla and other electric vehicles.

The update expands assisted driving capabilities for a small pool of Tesla owners who get to try out features early, according to Electrek.

Tesla’s assisted driving programs have come under scrutiny in the wake of several accidents involving Teslas, including some that were in Autopilot mode.

In the wake of those incidents, federal transportation officials have said Tesla has done an inadequate job of monitoring drivers to make sure they are engaged and also has permitted the Autopilot feature to be used on roads where it’s not suitable.

The car maker appeared to address some of those concerns in notes connected to the release of the software update, warning drivers to use the Full Self-Driving feature “only if you will pay constant attention to the road and be prepared to act immediately, especially around blind corners, crossing intersections and in narrow driving situations,” according to Electrek.

Tesla also reportedly began activating in May the in-car camera in its vehicles to keep track of attentiveness when drivers use the partially self-driving technology.

The new software update has been touted for the past three years with Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, repeatedly saying it was on its way, reports say.


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