Model S

Tesla Model S Autopilot Mode Coming in Next Software Update

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One of the more magnificent parts of Tesla ownership is how little time your vehicle needs to spend having maintenance performed. It’s a vehicle that is equal parts software and hardware, with updates to its operating system replacing a trip to the dealership when minor flaws need correcting.

The most recent update to the Model S’ operating system, version 6.2, includes some incredible new features, but its the 7.0 update scheduled for later this year that has everyone talking. During a press conference on March 19, Elon Musk announced that Tesla plans to roll out its new “Autopilot” feature, making it the first vehicle to offer such an option to drivers.

Highways will be the only time this feature can be utilized, but Autopilot will essential take control of speed, steering and navigation. As a March 19 article from the New York Times discusses, autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles are not legal in most states, Tesla does not believe this feature violates any major laws. To see what a demonstration of this feature looks like, check out the video above, uploaded to YouTube Oct. 9, 2014 by SlashGear.

(See Also: Tesla Model S P85D Insane Mode Takes Kids for a Ride)

“We’re not getting rid of the pilot. This is about releasing the driver from tedious tasks so they can focus and provide better input,” Tesla representative Alexis Georgeson told the Times.

The most recent update focused primarily on abating user unease over availability of charging stations when planning long range trips. Two of the major features included in the update are “Trip Planner” and “Range Assurance,” as outlined on the Tesla blog. Range Assurance tracks your location in relation to charging stations, and will alert drivers if the driving range of their remaining battery life becomes too low to reach the nearest charger. Trip Planner, similarly to Range Assurance, incorporates charging stations into the route for long distance traveling.

Be sure to stay with us for more updates about Tesla’s Autopilot feature, and in the meantime, find a Model S for your garage at the button below, and try out these updates for yourself.

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(Source: The New York Times, Tesla)

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