Tesla Autopilot 7.0, the latest installment of autonomous driving software module has been released to a select group of Tesla Model S owners who also act as beta testers. Let’s start with making it clear that Tesla is far from letting a software take complete control of the car but is in the process of testing a few autonomous features by releasing software updates in a phased manner.
The latest Autopilot update includes highway auto steer and auto parallel park functions. The high way auto steer is an amalgamation of lane keeping assistance and Traffic Aware Cruise Control (released in one of previous Autopilot module).
Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that the intention of Autopilot is to make driving easier but not fully autonomous. That’s why, for the Autosteer to work continuously, the driver needs to touch the indicator stalk at regular intervals to assure the system that he/she is still attentive of what’s happening around them.
He also added that Autopilot 7.0 is especially effective while tracking a lead vehicle. Over the course of beta testing, the software will be refined.
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Beta testers are a group of highly secretive Tesla Model S owners who are bound by a confidentiality agreement so there is no leaked information about the progress of the program so far.