Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter a few hours ago to break the news that an update to version 9.0 of its vehicle firmware would be rolling out soon with “Navigate on Autopilot.”
Navigate on Autopilot is expected to enable Autopilot to track along with the on-board navigation computer, as long as a destination has been selected. This would represent the largest increase in functionality in Autopilot since its inception some 3 years ago.
The feature was planned to be included in the initial release of version 9.0 of Tesla’s in-car firmware, which was deployed into owner cars two weeks ago, but it seems the new Autopilot feature was pulled from the release in the 11th hour. The news of the delay came as a disappointment to owners of Enhanced Autopilot who had been looking forward to the new functionality for weeks, months, or even years.
The new functionality is expected to enable ramp-to-ramp freeway driving, including suggesting lane changes to avoid getting stuck behind slower traffic that might otherwise require driver intervention. Have a look at the feature in beta being tested in Europe here. The release notes for the held Autopilot features are below:
Our newest Autopilot convenience feature, designed to get you to your destination more efficiently by guiding your car on and off the highway. Navigate on Autopilot intelligently suggests lane changes to keep you on your route in addition to making adjustments so you don’t get stuck behind slow cars or trucks.
When Navigate on Autopilot is active, a single blue line indicates the path ahead, keeping your car in the lane. Gray lines highlight lane changes for a more efficient driving route. Navigate on Autopilot will also automatically steer toward and take the correct highway interchanges and exits based on your destination.
You can enable Navigate on Autopilot by going to Controls > Autopilot and first enabling Autosteer. For each route where Navigate on Autopilot is available, you have the option of enabling the feature by pressing the button located in the Navigation Turn List.
UPDATE: Navigate on Autopilot has been confirmed in version 9.41 by a few Tesla Motors Club members who are in the early release program.
The first release of Full Self Driving capability into production was also planned to be included in version 9.0, but was also removed from the initial release. Two weeks later, Elon Musk relayed via Twitter that Full Self Driving would be removed from the vehicle configuration as an option altogether. The move had many wondering what, after three years on the menu, the fate of Full Self Driving might be. (Perhaps confusion of a different sort was added by removing it in such a way.)
Also available off menu for a week. Was causing too much confusion.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 18, 2018
In related firmware update news:
- Tesla will be adding the capability to “dock” the rear view camera instead of the map in version 9.0 in the next point release of its firmware (which will be 9 point 1).
- European Tesla drivers will have to wait a few months for Navigate on Autopilot due to significant variances in how traffic lines are painted, according to Musk.
- Tesla drivers will soon be able to re-arrange their favorite streaming stations in the Tesla media player.
- Tesla snuck a media player remote control into version 9.0 that only pops up in the mobile app when the vehicle is being driven.
- Elon recommends turning on enhanced security which enables a passcode to use the car and prevent theft via repeater.
Have you found any other hidden gems in Tesla’s latest release? Let us know in the comments what your favorite (or least favorite) aspects of version 9.0 are.
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