Tesla to Enhance Autopilot with Over-the-Air Updates for 2 Million+ Vehicles
Tesla is taking proactive measures to update the Autopilot software on more than two million cars in the United States. This follows differing opinions on the efficacy of Tesla's Autopilot technology between the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with the NTSB expressing concerns over the system's performance.
The Call for Change Recent debates and a high volume of comments on the subject illustrate the public's vested interest in Tesla's technology and safety features. Amidst this backdrop, Tesla is set to recall a wide array of models, ranging from 2012 to 2023, to update the Autopilot system. This includes Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y vehicles equipped with Autosteer, produced up until December 7, 2023.
The Silver Lining: Over-the-Air Updates The good news for Tesla owners is that the update will be carried out over the air, without the need for a visit to a service center—a testament to the advanced capabilities of Tesla's technology. This convenience is something that may be overlooked in the traditional context of automotive recalls.
What Is Autosteer? Autosteer is a component of the Basic Autopilot package, classified as an SAE Level 2 advanced driver-assistance feature. It's designed to support the driver with steering, braking, and acceleration under certain conditions. While Autosteer is active, the responsibility for vehicle operation remains firmly with the driver, necessitating constant attention and readiness to take control.
Tesla's recall notice specifies that the software update will include enhanced controls and alerts to reinforce the driver's engagement while Autosteer is in use. Changes will be tailored to the vehicle's hardware and may include more conspicuous visual alerts, streamlined engagement processes, and additional checks for using Autosteer on uncontrolled access highways or approaching traffic controls.
This recall aims to mitigate risks associated with the misuse of Autosteer. Some individuals have exploited the technology beyond its intended use, which can increase the risk of collisions. The update intends to curb such behavior, emphasizing the driver's obligation for continuous vehicle operation.
Tesla plans to start deploying the software update, version 2023.44.30, to certain affected vehicles as of December 12, 2023, with the aim to complete the recall actions by February 10, 2024. This step is a part of Tesla's commitment to safety and innovation, ensuring that drivers and passengers benefit from enhanced protection and advanced automotive technology.
As Tesla continues to evolve, this update marks a significant milestone in the ongoing conversation about automated driving systems, their application, and the human element in vehicle safety.