As Tesla continues to roll out the first major version of Enhanced Autopilot to Model S and Model X vehicles equipped with a suite of eight cameras and twelve ultrasonic sensors, engineers behind Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Capability prepare to release the first iteration of its autonomous driving feature ,”definitely”, within six months time. In fact, CEO Elon Musk revealed through a tweet that Full Self-Driving features could come as early as three months from now.
Musk didn’t indicate in specific what portion of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Capability will be made available in three to six months time, but we do know that the software update will activate all eight surround cameras on the vehicle as opposed to only four needed by Enhanced Autopilot.
3 months maybe, 6 months definitely
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 24, 2017
Tesla first demonstrated the capabilities of its new Autopilot 2.0 hardware suite and self-driving feature through a video showing a Model X driving without human intervention around the streets of Silicon Valley. The vehicle can be seen reacting to traffic signals and stop signs completely on its own, as it safely navigates around human and non-human objects. Though the recently released Enhanced Autopilot feature is not intended to provide stop sign detection or autonomous driving capabilities, an early recipient of the over-the-air software update spotted a stop sign appearing on their instrument cluster, leading to rumors that Enhanced Autopilot will, one day, be able to react to signage and traffic signals.
@elonmusk is there value to Full Self Driving Capability prior to regulatory approval; i.e. will 8 cameras make the Tesla safer in meantime?
— Stephen Stohn (@stephenstohn) January 23, 2017
The description to Tesla’s optional Full Self-Driving Capability notes that Tesla owners only need to get in and tell the car where to go under this proposed feature, pending regulatory approval. When Elon was asked on Twitter about whether there’s value to release this feature, in the event it does not pass regulatory approval, the tech entrepreneur responded by saying safety should improve significantly because of the autonomy features.
Below is a copy of the Full Self-Driving Capability description as seen on Tesla’s online Design Studio.