Enhanced safety is the main focus of Tesla’s latest software update, which incorporates 200 improvements. Version 8.0 addresses recent criticisms of the Autopilot system, after a recent spate of accidents involving the brand’s ‘self-driving’ cars.
Tesla boldly claims that the radar set-up’s new ability to sense and react to the movements and braking of cars two vehicles ahead, rather than one, will cut accidents in half. It has also improved the ability to detect other vehicles at an angle when entering a curve in the road.
Automatic steering will now disable if the driver keeps their hands off the wheel, while the car’s indication to the driver under Autopilot mode is clearer. Lane positioning for overtaking manoeuvres has been tweaked, too.
Non-driving enhancements include a security update to address vulnerabilities discovered by a Chinese security firm, while a new, industry-first Cabin Overheat Protection system prevents a car’s interior from getting too hot when parked up and left unattended.
Vice president of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), Will Stewart, commented: “Significantly, the car is being very substantially improved after you buy it. This is now normal for smartphones but new to cars – and this is a major change for the better.”
UK-based Teslas will get the update in the coming weeks.
Sarah Bradley / Autocar