In a press conference held Thursday, Tesla’s chief executive officer Elon Musk announced the electric luxury automaker is gearing up to introduce a hands-free steering mode within just three months.
A number of automakers and suppliers are working on introducing systems on upcoming cars that can alleviate the task of driving in certain conditions – seen as prerequisite steps before fully autonomous cars come in our lives. Tesla, for example, will introduce an automatic steering feature that will only be accessible when using the freeways or major roads – and while other carmakers will need to bring the feature on upcoming models in about a year, Tesla has pledged to deliver it in just three months, part of its ongoing free software upgrades sent via the car’s embedded 3G connection directly to all Model S cars produced so far. Tesla is not the only company to have wireless software updates, with competing companies such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz also using the procedure, but the California-based carmaker has been pushing them more often and promoting them aggressively. Musk said the company mulls an “over-the-air” software update ever three or four months.
Unfortunately for Tesla, the announcement came with the volatile stock going down around 2.3 percent after first rising past the $200 mark when Musk mysteriously tweeted about the upcoming upgrades. The shares are also trading far lower than their peak of $291.42 seen last September. Among the new features to be installed in the Model S cars (and come built-in with the Model X crossover that begins sales later on this year) is also one that will allow drivers to call the car remotely from their garage.