The latest Tesla Model S software update surprised some owners with a quiet release on Saturday. With this update, autopilot enabled cars can be summoned out of a garage and remote parked into a garage. The update also enhanced the HomeLink garage door opener for all cars, as well as introduced the ability to have only your driver’s side door unlock. With the new HomeLink, your garage door can, if you want, open automatically as you approach. This feature has worked well for me, though others have reported intermittent success. The driver’s side door unlock provides benefits for both safety and practicality – not wanting the passenger door to open if you are alone and not needing all 3 other doors to open and close repeatedly and cause wear.
One fear that had some owners reluctant to download the update was a speculated restriction on Autopilot-Autosteer that would limit you to driving the speed limit. Rumors I heard in the past few weeks included an overall restriction to the speed limit (which many opined would be dangerous and pointless) and a restriction to the speed limit on roads without center dividers. The latter was fine by me, as non-divided roads are not appropriate for use in this version of Autopilot. In the future, I’m sure they will be but for now I’m content to only engage on appropriate highways.
I’m quite happy to announce that the actual restrictions are limited to those roads with out a center divider and that you are permitted to go as many as 5 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. This picture shows the error message you will get if you attempt to set Autopilot to drive faster on a restricted road:
There is a catch here: the car must know the speed limit. Here, the speed limit while on Autopilot is not restricted to 5 miles per hour over the speed limit, as the car did not yet pickup what the speed limit actually was.
These restrictions, as mentioned above, are welcome in my eyes. Tesla is trusting owners to have access to a technology that leaves a lot of potential for abuse. A few common sense restrictions will inevitably be required but for now they’ve left us to our own free will with regard to how fast one can travel on an appropriately divided highway while using Autopilot. In the below video, a test proves that the car does not restrict us.
It is an exciting time to be a Tesla enthusiast. Things are moving fast so check back with us here at Teslarati for firmware feature demonstrations. News also available on demand through our iOS and Android app.