Tesla has released a new software update for its Autopilot system, bringing some new features, but also restricting some other ones.
The new feature implemented to the Autopilot system by the latest Tesla software update (7.1) brings the “Summon” function, which makes your car open the garage door, enter, park and shut down, all by itself. The car is limited to auto-driving itself up to 33 feet or until the sensors detect an obstacle, but it can open a HomeLink-compatible garage door if necessary. The cars can also park themselves in perpendicular spots to the curb. But the new upgrades are also putting new limits on Tesla’s hands-free operation. Autosteer is now restricted on residential roads and roads without a center divider. When Autosteer is engaged on a restricted road, Model S’s cannot drive faster than the speed limit of the road plus an additional 5 mph. When entering such a restricted road, Model S will reduce its speed if necessary and will do so even if the cruise control set speed is increased. If Tesla has no hesitations in bringing major updates to its cars through over-the-air, General Motors has recently said it will not use such a method for safety-critical vehicle systems such as brakes.
CEO Elon Musk has also announced that in the near future the “Summon” auto-parking feature will be assisted by the automatic robotic arm that Tesla demonstrated last August, which can plug-in the charger to the car and disconnect it as well. “We will try to make it look less creepy,” he said. “It’s sort of fascinating in its creepiness. We will probably roll it out first in the Superchargers, and see how that goes. The car will need to automatically charge.”