Tesla Autopilot will now give drivers the option to stay in the passing lane with a new Software Update. Although standard traffic rules suggest drivers navigate in the right lane and only use the left lane to pass slower vehicles, some travelers choose to remain in the “fast lane,” and Tesla is now giving this option in its Autopilot functionality.
The feature is officially called, “Exit Passing Lane” and is included in Software Update 2020.36.10. The functionality is available with Navigate on Autopilot, which is a part of the Full Self-Driving suite, and requires Hardware 2.5 or newer to operate.
“Exit Passing Lane” is also available on all four of Tesla’s currently released models and is available in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, and New Zealand.
According to TeslaScope.com, the release notes state:
“While Navigate on Autopilot is activated, your car can now remain in the passing lane. To adjust your passing lane preference, tap Controls > Autopilot > CUSTOMIZE NAVIGATE ON AUTOPILOT > EXIT PASSING LANE.”
Interestingly enough, Tesla is releasing this update as an option to give drivers more customization during their driving experience. While the left lane is usually a faster mode of travel, the rules of driving in many states indicate that the right lane should only be used to pass slower cars. The overuse of the lane can slow down the flow of traffic.
Extensive driving in the “fast lane” can lead to tickets and fines. However, the state-to-state variance in laws concerning the use of the left lane is where the confusion comes in. According to Geico, 29 states have laws that state “any car moving slower than the surrounding traffic should be in the right lane.” However, other states are more strict and note that the left lane is designated for turning or passing only.
In Georgia, it is a misdemeanor to move slower in the left lane than the surrounding traffic, and Tennesee has a $50 fine for drivers who are in the left lane that are traveling at a slower pace than others.
In order for Navigate on Autopilot to automatically return to the right-hand lane, the feature will now need to be turned on. Otherwise, the Tesla vehicle will remain in the left-hand lane.
Having the option of returning to the left-hand lane gives drivers the capability to control their driving style while utilizing Tesla’s semi-autonomous features. The feature, when combined with Tesla’s “following distance” feature, could give owners full-fledged control over how their car operates when they are using elements within the Full Self-Driving suite.