Tesla Motors Inc is working on ways to make its Autopilot tech better, and the firm’s CEO Elon Musk reckons that a new version of the tech will be ready soon. In a tweet on Friday, right after he revealed that Model S owners in Europe and elsewhere around the globe would be able to download the tech, Mr. Musk detailed how Tesla is going to make the Model S even better.
Tesla Motors is able to update the software on its cars using over-the-air updates. That give the firm the ability to deliver entirely new features, like Autopilot, to cars in a fuss free way. It also allows the firm to refine the software and improve extant features that may need a little polish. That’s exactly what it plans with Autopilot software, and it plans to do it soon.
Tesla Motors promises to fix Autopilot
On release Tesla Motors gave the world Autopilot software that really worked. It made it possible for a driver to take their mind off of the road, though not their hands off the wheel, on the highway. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. There has been a certain amount of anxiety about the way the Model S drives itself under Autopilot, including how it maintains speed into turns.
In this morning’s tweet Mr. Musk said “Autopilot 1.01 coming soon: curve speed adaption, controller smoothness, better lane holding on poor roads, improved fleet learning!” It’s not clear when the update will arrive, and Elon Musk’s “soon” is often used in a way others might not use it, but Tesla Motors has heard people’s concerns, and it’s changing the Model S for the better.
The updates to Autopilot will make the system better, and perhaps make it a less anxious experience for some, but the most vital part of it is the “improved fleet learning.” That’s something that those using the system won’t notice directly, but they will notice as Tesla keeps making the system better and better in the coming months and years.
Tesla Motors keeps getting better
Hardware problems in the Model S have been discussed a lot in the past week. Consumer Reports stopped recommending the car after it found that it simply didn’t hold up to regular use as well as it should. That’s been a big problem for those with shares in the firm, but Elon Musk says they shouldn’t worry.
Mr. Musk says that the survey used by Consumer Reports to test how the Model S was holding up included a whole bunch of early cars. The problems that kept cropping up, Elon Musk said in a tweet this week, have already been changed and fixed in newer units.
Tesla Motors keeps making the Model S better on both the hardware and the software front, and that may be what makes the firm really special. There’s a lot of reasons to really love what Tesla Motors is doing, even if the firm doesn’t keep everyone happy all the time, but the constant improvement of its cars is what makes the firm really special.
Those with shares in the firm still don’t seem quite convinced that features like Autopilot can deliver Tesla Motors to its promised land of 500,000 car sales per year in 2020. Shares in the firm have fallen hard as shipments of the Model X continue to lag, and worries about Model S demand in the wake of the Consumer Reports downgrade keep traders anxious.
It’s software where, right now, Tesla Motors really really shines. Though the firm’s features may not stack up on every point with those offered by other car makers, and some of the systems in the Model S can be a little bit buggy, the firm’s ability to change the software on a whim is a truly major feature. That’s going to keep earning Tesla Motors dividends going forward.
Waiting for real Autopilot
Tesla Motors has a different vision for Robocars than most of the firms working on the tech right now. Instead of working behind the scenes to build a car that can truly drive itself, like Google, the firm is looking to make a system that can drive itself sometimes, and hopes it will learn to make itself better over time.
Tesla Motors is using a number of advantages in order to make that happen. The firm has thousands of drivers who are willing to test each experiment the firm puts out there, and they’re willing to do so for free in order to be on the cutting edge of self-driving.
The firm also makes sure that each and every car it sells stays connected to the Tesla Motors network, and it’s able to send them software updates in order to keep making the car better. That data connection also lets Tesla Motors watch each twist and turn the Model S makes in its thousand iterations. That is key to making Autopilot better and better.
At some point Tesla Motors reckons its tech will be up to a standard where a driver can take their hands off of the wheel and simply ask the Model S, or at that stage the Model 3, to drive them to where they want to go. For now that’s still a long way off.
The kind of update that Tesla Motors is now talking about making to Autopilot is great, and it will greatly improve the experience of those using the tech. Unfortunately for those going hands free right now, it’s not likely that the Model S on the road today has the sensors and tech to be able to drive itself entirely.
Tesla will, it seems likely, update the tech to a high level before it leaves current Model S owners in the dust. It’s a great firm, and it’s able to do things that pothers simply can’t right now. Within a year it’s likely that the Tesla Motors Model S will be the most advanced self-driving car on the road.
That may change once Google puts its car out there, but Tesla Motors is going to keep improving its tech, and future versions of the Model S may be able to drive themselves just like the cars from Google will once they’re on the road.