Business

New Tesla software to offer 'full' autonomy, Musk says

Share
Musk explained that artificial intelligence-powered autonomous vehicles will surpass humans’ ability to drive safely and avoid accidents

Tesla's cars will in August suddenly activate "full self-driving features", the company's chief executive Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday, three days after federal investigators said a Tesla SUV driving semi-autonomously had accelerated over 70 miles per hour and smashed into a highway barrier. While Musk did not reveal more details about the compact vehicle, he did mention it would be a hatchback. In effect, it lulls the adaptive driver aids into an electronic stupor.

A Tesla Inc. vehicle involved in a fatal crash in March was speeding on a highway with its driver-assistance feature engaged and had alerted the driver to put his hands on the steering wheel more than 15 minutes before the collision, US safety investigators said Thursday. The rear wheels are powered by one motor each, while the front wheels share power from another motor, and all three combine to give the new Roadster 10,000 Nm of torque - frankly ridiculous number. Version 9 is the first full update of the software since version 8 was released in 2016. Previous updates to Autopilot were "rightly focused entirely on safety", he said.

But consumer groups say Tesla's marketing has often skirted the lines between encouraging responsible driving and suggesting the cars can drive themselves.

Federal safety investigators have been looking into a series of accidents, including at least two datal ones, involving self-driving cars.

Customers can pay $5,000 for Autopilot lane-keeping and lane-changing capabilities or fork out $3,000 more for full self-driving capability, which the company sold before it was available.

It's not clear what exactly full self-driving will look like in Tesla vehicles.

The latest software update, which started to roll out last week, features a new feature that will increase the number of warnings it gives drivers to take control of the vehicle.

The Tesla CEO confirmed the theory, tweeting in reply: 'Using the config you describe, plus an electric pump to replenish air in COPV, when auto power draw drops below max pack power output, makes sense. Tesla representatives said they are investigating the incident.

The Tesla made no attempt at braking or steering away from the collision, the NTSB said.

Share