Tesla Autopilot

The long-awaited feature is here.


Tesla

Tesla’s long-promised Full Self-Driving mode reached its first customers in beta form this week, and we’ve already received a look at how the system operates on local roads, thanks to a Twitter user. So far, the owner reports no issues and seems impressed with the system’s capabilities.

The video comes from Twitter user Brandonee916, who shared a clip of Full-Self Driving mode operating while motoring around local roads. The beta requires the driver to keep their hands on the wheel still, but the car handles everything we see pretty well. The tablet-style screen shows the roads and intersections marked and provides insight into what the car sees while it’s driving. To the right, the screen splits to show the traditional navigation map.

The owner added in the Twitter thread he ran Full-Self Driving on narrow, unmarked city streets at night. I’d personally like to see video of the car handling itself in more traffic.

As we continue to see more of Full-Self Driving mode, and while the company pushes it to more owners, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the system will become more expensive. The option’s price has fluctuated over the years, but right now, it costs $8,000 to equip a new Tesla with the future capabilities. According to a tweet from Musk, the price will rise by around $2,000 this coming Monday. If you want to save a couple grand, you’ll need to pony up for the feature by the end of this weekend, in other words.

The CEO said in yesterday’s third-quarter earnings call the number of owners with access to the beta will increase by this weekend and every owner who paid for the upgrade may receive access by the end of this year. More cars using the beta benefits Tesla greatly since the technology relies on vehicle data to run simulations that, in turn, make the system smarter. Safety concerns remain with this type of strategy, especially in the face of past Autopilot crashes. As more drivers start using Full-Self Driving mode’s beta, they may be the first to uncover potential flaws. Tesla itself underscores this in its disclaimer while using Full Self-Driving mode: “It may do the wrong thing at the worst time.”


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source: cnet.com

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