Tesla has announced the rollout of its most advanced driver-assist feature yet: no-confirmation Navigate on Autopilot. With the system in place, drivers could have their vehicles perform lane changes on their own without confirming the maneuver through the vehicle’s turn signal stalk.
In a blog post, Tesla noted that drivers have traveled more than 66 million miles since Navigate on Autopilot was released. Over this period, the driver-assist feature has successfully completed more than 9 million suggested lane changes. The electric car maker notes that the reception to Navigate on Autopilot has been positive so far, with owners stating that the feature makes trips easier and more enjoyable.
The improvements to Navigate on Autopilot are poised to give Tesla owners a better experience using the company’s driver-assist feature. Even at its current iteration, Navigate on Autopilot’s capability to perform on-ramp to off-ramp maneuvers is already hailed as an incredibly useful capability. With no-stalk confirmation now an option, trips done with Autopilot engaged will be even more convenient.
The rollout of no-confirmation Navigate on Autopilot is another indication that Tesla is conducting a serious push in the development of its Full Self-Driving features. Apart from Elon Musk’s hints that more Full Self-Driving features will be coming later this year, Tesla has also announced that it will be holding an Autonomy Investor Day event this coming April 19 at its Palo Alto headquarters. During the event, shareholders will have the chance to experience Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features that are yet to be released.
Below is Tesla’s blog post about no-confirmation Navigate on Autopilot.
Introducing a More Seamless Navigate on Autopilot
Since we first introduced Navigate on Autopilot last year, Tesla drivers have traveled more than 66 million miles using the feature, and more than 9 million suggested lane changes have been successfully executed with the feature in use. We’ve heard from our customers that it makes road trips and highway driving more relaxing, enjoyable and fun, and gives them an easy way to follow their car’s navigation guidance when traveling on an unfamiliar route.
Today, we’re beginning to roll out our latest version of Navigate on Autopilot for a more seamless active guidance experience. In this new version, drivers will now have the option to use Navigate on Autopilot without having to confirm lane changes via the turn stalk. Here’s how it works:
In the Autopilot settings menu, a driver can press the Customize Navigate on Autopilot button which will now display three additional settings – Enable at Start of Every Trip, Require Lane Change Confirmation, and Lane Change Notification. Through the Enable at Start of Every Trip setting, Navigate on Autopilot can be set to automatically turn on each time a driver enters a navigation route. Once enabled, anytime a driver is on a highway and uses Autopilot with a location plugged into the navigation bar, the feature will be on by default. If a driver selects ‘No’ to Require Lane Change Confirmation, lane changes will happen automatically, without requiring a driver to confirm them first. Drivers can elect to get notified about an upcoming lane change by receiving an audible chime as well as a default visual prompt. Additionally, all cars made after August 2017 will also have the option to have their steering wheel vibrate for the alert as well.
Each of these notifications are meant to provide drivers with the opportunity to check their surroundings and determine whether they want to cancel the lane change before it’s made. Cancellations can be made by moving the car’s turn signal or by pressing the lane change cancellation pop-up notification on the car’s touchscreen. This feature does not make a car autonomous, and lane changes will only be made when a driver’s hands are detected on the wheel. As has always been the case, until truly driverless cars are validated and approved by regulators, drivers are responsible for and must remain in control of their car at all times.
Through our internal testing and Early Access Program, more than half a million miles have already been driven with the lane change confirmation turned off. Our team consistently reviews data from instances when drivers took over while the feature has been in use, and has found that when used properly both versions of Navigate on Autopilot offer comparable levels of safety. We’ve also heard overwhelmingly from drivers in our Early Access Program that they like using the feature for road trips and during their daily commutes, and we’re excited to release the option to the rest of the Tesla family.
These new settings will be available to customers who have purchased Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-Driving Capability. They will begin to roll out today via an over-the-air software update to customers in the U.S., and will be introduced in other markets in the future pending validation and regulatory approval.