Tesla owners are rejoicing at the long-awaited update for Tesla's Autopilot 2.0 vehicle software. CEO Elon Musk made good on a recent tweet stating the 8.1 update would be released this week. Vehicles all over North America will be getting the new software right away with an international roll out coming in the next few days. This update is a little bit backwards from a timeline perspective since it mainly focuses on getting newer models caught up with the feature set of older vehicles.
In October 2016 Tesla began selling vehicles with more advanced built-in cameras and other sensors. This package, known as the HW2 suite, meant the software team had some catching up to do to get newer vehicles to the level of the previous versions. This effectively meant the newer HW2 cars had fewer features than the older ones. Today's 8.1 update changes that though.
It brings a "vibrating lane departure warning" when the driver starts to leave the marked lane without signaling a turn, "Autosteer at up to 80mph" allowing the car to briefly take control of steering (Tesla officially notes the driver is required to keep their hands on the wheel), "Auto Lane Change" when the driver activates a turn signal, "Summon," which retrieves the vehicle to the owner when a button is pushed on the key or app, and "Autopark" which guides the vehicle into a parking space automatically.
While HW2 vehicles are still missing automatic braking, something found on a growing number of competitors' vehicles, Tesla is still the king of self-driving cars. This update is another step towards Elon Musk's goal of fully autonomous cars by the end of the year.