By on October 13, 2015

Tesla Model S In Hero Blue

Tesla will begin rolling out its firmware update Thursday to enable some Model S and Model X cars to partially drive themselves, the company’s CEO announced on Twitter.

Tesla’s AutoPilot feature will reportedly steer the car during some highway driving and help parallel park the car. A valet feature that would park and retrieve the car without a driver will reportedly come later. It’s unclear how autonomous the cars will be after Thursday, so we’ll save up the $75,000 and let you know as soon as we can.

Model S cars built after September 2014 will reportedly be eligible for the driver-less updates. Cars without the needed sensors and cameras receive a UI update, according to CEO Elon Musk.

The update, which will be delivered over the air to owners, will roll out starting Thursday and will take several days for some owners.

Musk told followers that the automaker’s 7.1 update would feature more extensive UI upgrades for the cars.

The update comes after several stock analysts downgraded Tesla’s stock, saying the carmaker may not meet volume targets for 2015 and that its Model X may be too expensive.

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22 Comments on “Tesla Updating its Cars With Semi-Autonomous Driving Starting on Thursday...”

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I don’t think I want a car that can take control of the steering wheel. What if a software glitch or hack of some sort decides to steer me and my family into an oncoming semi truck?

    • 0 avatar

      I won’t say that’s not a valid concern, but as far as I can remember, legally a car’s steering wheel must be physically attached to the turning wheels (no pure steer-by-wire). Now on tractors, that would be valid. Since tractors are so heavy, for the past 50 years or so the steering assembly has been purely hydraulic, with no physical connection between the axle and the steering wheel.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think I want to fly in an aircraft that can take control of its own flight control surfaces. What if a software glitch or hack of some sort decides to fly me and my family into a mountain?

      I’m fine with vehicles that can control themselves as long as the likelihood of a technical fault is demonstrably lower than the likelihood of operator error in the same situation.

      The machine doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be better than a meatbag that evolved to operate in a world where 20 mph was considered “really fast”.

    • 0 avatar

      If you have a car that has electric power steering, everything is already in place for the vehicle to control the steering. Currently it already does based on your steering wheel inputs. However all it takes is software to change that and allow the machine to do it autonomously (and also other input sensors to help it go in a proper direction without crashing into things)

    • 0 avatar

      Lexus has had that on the LS460 (with the self-parking package) for 8 or 9 years now, and you’d think it would have come out if there was an incident.

      For that matter, playing devil’s advocate, you drive a newer car with stability control. What’s to say that couldn’t go on the fritz and selectively apply the brakes to specific wheels at an inopportune time and cause you to lose control?

      • 0 avatar

        Yes — Ford’s had self-park for parallel and for back-in for ages, so what’s the big schmear, Elon?

        We need to find out what, specifically is in this new batch of secret sauce.

    • 0 avatar

      What if the guy in the semi coming the other way gets distracted and moves into your lane?

      The illusion of ‘being in control’ may make us feel more secure, but we all take a risk as we head out the door each morning.

      The truth is that autonomous systems will quickly out perform human drivers in driving performance and make fewer mistakes by many orders of magnitude.

      The scary part is when cars employ AI and start communicating with each other. When something bad is about to happen they start deciding our fates to minimize casualties, which may involve driving you off the side of a cliff to avoid a worse outcome.

      Autonomous driving is fine, its the AI we need to be wary of.

  • avatar

    If this steers the car into the rightmost available lane on a highway, then I’m all for it.

  • avatar

    Can earlier cars get the sensors retrofitted at owner’s cost?

  • avatar

    How comprehensive are these features? Mainstream automakers are providing lane correction, self parking, and auto braking already. Is it more than that?

  • avatar


    Reality: “It does something Fords were doing in 2008.”

    I like Tesla, the product and the business, but the self-driving hype is self-driving me up the wall.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe Fords in the lab, but not in the hands of the public:
      The semi-autonomous demo is in the second half of the video at 39 seconds:

  • avatar

    Oct 15th will begin the rise of the machines!

  • avatar

    Tesla – desperate as ever – announces yet another item of little consequence with the greatest fanfare of blowing trumpets and not a little artifice.

    • 0 avatar

      One of the reasons for the fanfare is that a lot of us think Musk believes the idealistic things he says.

      Which means that we expect a lot of this stuff to trickle down to more affordable cars.

      If that does not happen, then the hype is overblown. We’ll find out when the Model 3 is revealed in March.

  • avatar

    Last week McDonald’s gave us breakfast all day, and now this. Is life grand, or what?

  • avatar

    Yep, every Tesla press release and tweet from Musk is treated like the second coming of Jesus Christ. Nobody bothers to check if its really any of importance or even more – worth praising.

    At the opposite side is Toyota who sucks at marketing so bad that even this kind of news has totally slipped under the mainstream media’s radar. Even ttac hasn’t mentioned it :)

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