New videos posted to YouTube by Tesla owners receiving the latest Autopilot 2.0 software update reveal a substantially improved highway driving experience. However, Model S and Model X drivers under the new software are also giving mixed reactions when it comes to the vehicle’s ability to navigate local roads while in Autopilot mode.
The new v8.1 (17.17.4) software update arrived with several improvements, including the removal of a prior speed limit restriction on local roadways and an increase to Autosteer’s highway speed limit, from 80 mph (129 kmh) to 90 mph (145 kmh).
Håkan Forss’s latest YouTube video highlights changes made to the vehicle’s local driving capabilities. He notes that the vehicle previously performed better on local roads, citing that he drove the same route as his previous local tests. Forss provides informative commentary on Autopilot’s performance compared to previous versions. It’s worth noting that Forss’s description also states, “Not in this video but, this version seems to perform much better than previous on highways and multi-lane roads with good lane markers.”
Plenty of owners with Autopilot 2.0 have struggled to wait patiently for the vehicle’s long-awaited Enhanced Autopilot software update as Tesla continues to take a cautionary approach with releasing incremental improvements to its driving-assist feature. Older generation Model S and Model X using Autopilot 1.0 have long been equipped with Autosteering capabilities, but bear in mind that Tesla was then working with their previous partner, Mobileye (now acquired by Intel). Musk highlighted during Tesla’s recent earnings Q&A call that their Autopilot team had to recreate Mobileye’s capability after the fallout, and they were able to accomplish it in 6-months.
In another video posted by Tesla Trip, they highlight improved Autopilot driving on curvy freeways at higher speeds. The roads used for the testing were largely one lane roads with one center lane marking. Additionally, the video shows Autopilot’s reaction to an inattentive driver.
Lastly, we have a video out of France showing Autopilot’s ability to navigate a freeway at high speeds while reacting to frequent curves on the roadway. The driver goes as far as using the Auto Lane Change capability while the vehicle is navigating a turn. It’s arguably our best look yet of how Autopilot 2.0 continues to improve.