Since the release of Software 7.0, recent Tesla Model S owners have been enjoying the first version of Autopilot. Since then we’ve seen a number of drivers taking their hands off the wheel and letting the car do the work, ignoring the warnings that this is essentially beta software designed for very specific circumstances (highway driving).
There’s enough of these videos that now show bugs in the software, often when the driver steps outside of the guidance provided for Autopilot. Despite that, Elon Musk has just posted on Twitter that an update is coming soon to deliver Autopilot 1.01.
The next release will be ‘coming soon’ and improve the system in a number of key areas.
Curve speed adaption
Making the correct speed adjustments based on the angle of the corner is often something a driver adjusts for, but when a computer is in control, that has to be programmed.
There has been some complaints by owners that the turning smoothness had left some room for improvement.
Better lane holding on poor roads
Poor roads could mean a number of things to a number of people, particularly different in different parts of the world. This could mean dirt or gravel roads, or indeed just poor road surfaces with broken tarmac and pot holes. It’d be great to see the Model S be able to detect a pot hole and gently guide the car around it, keeping the passengers comfortable while keeping safely within the confines of the lane markings.
Improved fleet learning
Imagine a company buys a fleet of Tesla’s, with all the data coming from the vehicle, Tesla could make some great recommendations to companies to better transport their employees. Despite the price, having a more efficient transportation solution for an enterprise could be more economical than a unintelligent, unconnected fleet.
When the update arrives, owners will simply be able to accept the prompt on their 17” display and receive the update over the air. For vehicles to get better the longer you own them is a completely new paradigm that is something the whole industry needs to respond to.
We can be assured that as soon as Autopilot 1.01 rolls out to owners cars, a whole new phase of videos will arrive, testing the improvements, all serving as great marketing for the Tesla brand.