Next Tesla Autopilot software update will hit roads in December, Musk says

tesla autopilot 81 coming in december musk says update
Tesla recently rolled out a new suite of driver-assistance hardware for its electric cars, but it also subtracted some features from the Autopilot system that hardware is meant to enable. In the long term, the “Hardware 2” suite is supposed to enable fully autonomous driving, but until Tesla issues a software update, it only works with a less-capable version of Autopilot.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says the software to match the upgraded hardware will begin rolling out next month, about two months after the launch of Hardware 2. The new hardware suite includes more sensors than the previous Hardware 1 version, but Tesla temporarily disabled many features that were previously available, including autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

The software update to reactivate these features will launch in “about three weeks,” Musk said in response to a customer question on Twitter. “It will get rolled out incrementally in monthly releases,” the Tesla CEO said. As with past software additions, Tesla will presumably use over-the-air updates to disseminate the new software, known as Autopilot 8.1.

The update is expected to restore functions available in previous versions of Autopilot, and Musk believes the Hardware 2 suite will allow Tesla to add more features later on. With eight cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and a forward-facing radar unit, it’s more comprehensive than Hardware 1, which included one camera, a smaller number of ultrasonic sensors, and forward-facing radar.

At the time of the Hardware 2 launch, Musk said the upgraded array of sensors would lay the foundation for fully autonomous cars, and set the goal of having a Tesla drive itself from Los Angeles to New York City as soon as next year. However, Hardware 2 does not include the lidar sensors most other automakers view as crucial for fully autonomous driving. Musk has said that lidar, which is similar to radar but uses light instead of radio waves, isn’t necessary.

Musk remains committed to self-driving cars even as Tesla faces continued criticism in the wake of a fatal May crash involving a Model S running Autopilot. In his updated “master plan” for the company, Musk said Tesla will continue to pursue self-driving cars using Autopilot as a building block, and will even allow owners to rent out their autonomous Teslas as part of a ridesharing service.

Cars

Consumer Reports bumps the Tesla Model 3 off of its list of recommended models

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the six new cars that have lost their coveted Recommended rating from Consumer Reports over reliability concerns. In 2018, Model 3 owners reported body trim falling off and problems with the car's glass.
Cars

Tesla will release fully self-driving cars in 2019 — with a big asterisk

Tesla reaffirmed its goal of releasing a fully self-driving car by the end of 2019, but it warned the system won't work perfectly 100 percent of the time. Convincing regulators that it's safe to use will require some effort, too.
Emerging Tech

SeaBubbles’ new electric hydrofoil boat is the aquatic equivalent of a Tesla

What do you get if you combine a Tesla, a flying car, and a sleek boat? Probably something a bit like SeaBubbles, the French "flying" boat startup which offers a fresh spin on the hydrofoil.
Gaming

Apex Legends dataminers discover upcoming characters and weapons

Dataminers have discovered code in Apex Legends that refers to characters named Octane and Wattson, and weapons named the Havoc Rifle and the L-Star EMG. Octane is believed to have a Stim Pack ability, while Wattson has the Tesla Trap.
Cars

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…
Cars

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.
Cars

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.
Cars

Subaru’s latest VIZIV concept car is pumped full of adrenaline

The Subaru VIZIV Adrenaline is the seventh member of the Japanese automaker's family of VIZIV concept cars. It debuts at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but for now, all we're getting is a shadowy teaser image.
Cars

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.
Cars

Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.
Cars

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.
Cars

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.
Cars

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.
Cars

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…