tesla_model_software_update_v7_1

The Tesla Model S P85D was introduced a year ago and debuted the brand’s Autopilot feature, a semi-autonomous driving system that utilises cameras, radars and 360-degree ultrasonic sonar sensors to provide driverless features. Currently, all Model S variants, including the base 70D, come as standard with said system.

Now, Tesla has announced a software update – 7.0, that allows the Model S to expand the system’s functionality, providing drivers with new features and requires even less driver involvement while on the road. Of course, the system doesn’t convert the Model S into a self-driving vehicle that can operate independently without human input, so drivers shouldn’t just go hands-free behind the wheel.

First up, the car’s digital instrument cluster adopts a new look (above) that is said to be more driver-focused. It providing real-time information – not just the basic information like speed – but also a visualisation of the road interpreted from the car’s sensors.

Autosteer is among the new features introduced with software update version 7.0, albeit in beta stages. This keeps the car in its current lane, following the curve of a corner, while Traffic-Aware Cruise Control ensures the car’s speed and distance from a forward vehicle is maintained. Tesla still requires drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel when the feature is engaged, ready to take over if needed.

Next, Auto Lane Change makes lane changing a simpler affair. Simply engage the turn signal and the Model S will determine if the conditions are safe to do so before it executes a manoeuvre, moving itself to an adjacent lane.

Automatic Emergency Steering and Side Collision Warning senses when nearby objects, such as cars, get a little too close to the Model S’ sides, and will alert the driver with fluid lines that radiate from the Model S image in the instrument panel.

Lastly, the Model S is now capable of parallel parking itself, similar to Ford’s Active Park Assist. A “P” symbol will appear on the instrument panel when the car detects an appropriate parking spot. From there, the driver just needs to activate the Autopark function, and the Model S will park itself by controlling steering and vehicle speed.