Tesla software 8.1 is coming soon and will unlock Enhanced Autopilot with the new hardware

Monthly updates will then follow in 2017.

Many smartphone apps get updated on a regular schedule whether changes are needed or not. It's gotten so bad that the developers don't even tell you what's in there any more, they just say the update contains "bug fixes." Looks like Tesla likes this rapid-enhancement-for-rapid-enhancement's-sake approach, because the company will soon turn to monthly releases for its Autopilot software.

That's the word from CEO Elon Musk, who Tweeted the news over the weekend.
Musk was replying to a question about when version 8.1 of the software would arrive from a new Tesla owner excited about the new hardware (not yet all turned on) in his EV. The 8.1 update will kick off the new " Enhanced Autopilot" suite (so much for those warnings about continuing to use the Autopilot name), which uses the new " Tesla Vision" system. The new hardware includes eight surround cameras, 12 updated ultrasonic sensors, and a forward-facing radar.

Put it all together and Enhanced Autopilot means that "your Tesla will match speed to traffic conditions, keep within a lane, automatically change lanes without requiring driver input, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway when your destination is near, self-park when near a parking spot and be summoned to and from your garage," Tesla says. The plan is to make Teslas equipped with the new hardware capable of fully autonomous driving by the end of 2017. All of this, of course, is "subject to regulatory approval," Tesla says.

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