The future is almost here; in fact, it’ll be here on Thursday.
In a late night tweet on Saturday, Oct. 10, Elon Musk announced to the world that Tesla cars, beginning this week, will be able to drive themselves.
It’s been quite a bit of time since Tesla first told the world this software would become available. A March press conference saw the announcement of the marque’s 7.0 software release, which is about to be responsible for making both Model S and Model X vehicles the first cars to ever offer an autopilot feature.
Of course, when first discussing what this feature would include, it was made evident that it’s not a completely autonomous drive. Rather, options will include autonomous parking and highway driving, but details about what else it includes are scarce. There are no mentions of the scheduled release on the manufacturer’s website, and updates from Musk have come primarily in the form of tweets.
In responding to questions from Twitter users, Musk informed the world that the main changes will be the user interface, and this software update will be rolled out worldwide over the course of five days. The autonomous parking feature for 7.0 will not be available if the driver is out of the car but will be available in 7.1.
Some exciting news this week: Tesla Version 7 software with Autopilot goes to wide release on Thursday!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 11, 2015
Of course, this does present some possible challenges; as of now, there are only a few states in the United States that have laws allowing self-driving cars to operate on roadways. The legislation surrounding autonomous vehicles has yet to catch up to technological developments, and it’s not clear if the highway autopilot is entirely legal.
However, self-driving cars have never been declared illegal, and the National Highway and Transporation Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a statement in 2013 that, essentially, stated they do not want to be a roadblock to technology that could potentially increase safety on the roads. As you can see, this places Tesla’s 7.0 software in an undeniable legal grey zone.
Stay with us for updates from Tesla as we draw closer to this software update’s rollout, and find your own Tesla to test this feature out in from our exclusive listings.
(Source: Tesla, Twitter, NHTSA)