The latest update on Tesla’s highly anticipated rollout of Enhanced Autopilot on self-driving-capable Model S and Model X vehicles is that it’s ‘undergoing final validation’, according to Elon Musk. The billionaire entrepreneur and CEO to Tesla has been replying to tweets from anxious Tesla owners over concerns on when version 8.1 with Enhanced Autopilot will arrive.
Two week ago, Musk noted that the team has been working seven days a week while preparing v8.1 for test complete and validation.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2016
The tweet was followed by another tweet sent last week by Musk indicating that the company’s newest Autopilot might be ready by the end of this year. But Musk would preface that the effectiveness of Enhance Autopilot will arrive over time as the company continues to log driving data in ‘Shadow Mode’ collected through its fleet of vehicles.
New “hardware 2” equipped Teslas have been running in Shadow Mode have not taken any driving-assist or self-driving actions to date. Rather, Tesla has been building an AI model behind the scenes that pits human versus computer by logging instances when Autopilot would have taken action and compare those results to the real life actions taken by human drivers.
Looks like we might be ready to rollout most of Autopilot functionality for HW2 towards the end of next week
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 23, 2016
As of today, it looks as if Enhanced Autopilot might be rolled out this weekend or during the first week of the new year. Musk noted in a new tweet that v8.1 is “almost there” and “undergoing final validation”.
Though owners of new Model S and Model X equipped with the latest Full Self-Driving suite of 8 cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors are understandably anxious – these vehicles have been operating without Autopilot functionality to date – the fact that Tesla isn’t rushing out the over-the-air update is a good indicator that the company is being extra cautious with putting the new Autopilot features into the hands of drivers. Musk had mentioned that “most of Autopilot functionality” will be released in the upcoming v8.1 roll out which further validates that Tesla will be incrementally releasing features until there’s a high degree of confidence that the actions taken by the vehicle are comparable to, if not better than, real life actions taken by human drivers.
@andrewket Almost there. Undergoing final validation. Might go out in next few days.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 30, 2016
Musk once said that Tesla aims to improve its self-driving algorithms until statistical data shows that its self-driving model is safer than actions taken by humans. It’s a step needed before regulators will approve of Tesla’s vision for an autonomous future.
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