Earlier this week, Tesla released OTA update 8.0 to their cars Model S and Model X owners. The software update introduces changes to vehicle functionality and augments Autopilot driver assist system.
Tesla has been keen to update or modify Autopilot ever since the fatal crash on May 7 when the system was in operation on the Model S which failed to differentiate the white side of the trailer from the sky. The changes see Autopilot switching to prioritizing data from the system’s radar which could have prevented the crash.
Earlier Autopilot required visual confirmation of radar data via its front-facing camera to take care of false positives from overhead objects such as sign posts and bridges. If this new software was installed earlier, Musk is of the opinion that it would have prevented the crash.
With this new update, Tesla also seeks to address Autopilot safety concerns which will now shut down Autosteer function in the event of drivers failing to pay attention to repeat warnings to keep hands on the wheel. If a shutdown is triggered, Autosteer will not be reactivated till car has been parked. The system will be better equipped to take curves and communicate with cars in adjacent lanes to prevent them from coming too close while radar sensors can not only monitor the car right ahead but even the car ahead of that.
Version 8.0 also updates Cabin Overheat Protection allowing the cabin to retain temperatures at optimum levels so as to protect children and pets from overheating. It activates air conditioning when temperatures rise above 105 degrees F while media player has also been redesigned and personalized, voice commands are easier and clearer and maps and navigation has been upgraded to span the entire touch screen.