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Tesla drivers in N. America will soon be able to put lane changing on autopilot

Tesla owners have been waiting for the release of the “Navigate on Autopilot” feature since the version 9.0 software was rolled out at the start of October. The previous software included navigation aids and app updates, but not the active guidance feature that many users were keen to try.

But users needn’t wait any longer as the new navigation feature will go live in North America tonight, October 27,  according to a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Navigate on Autopilot will assist drivers by guiding the car from the on-ramp to the off-ramp of a highway, including making suggestions for lane changes and navigating highway interchanges, according to Tesla. This should make long and tiresome highway journeys less taxing since, although drivers will still need to supervise the movements of the car, they can allow the guidance systems to find the most efficient lane for them to travel in and make sure that they don’t miss their exit.

The initial version of the feature will only suggest lane changes, requiring drivers to confirm that they wish to change lanes before the car moves. However, in the future, the component will be expanded to allow users to waive the confirmation requirement so that the car can change lanes automatically with no driver input required, according to a Tesla blog post.

In addition to changing lanes, Navigate on Autopilot expands the Enhanced Autopilot feature by guiding the car through the on-ramps and off-ramps of highways. Drivers enter their desired location into the navigation and confirm they wish to enable Navigate on Autopilot, then the feature is activated when Autosteer is engaged. There is an option to configure the speed of the lane changes based on driver preferences, with four options available: Disabled, Mild, Average, and Mad Max. The slower settings will only suggest lane changes when the current lane you are traveling in is particularly slow, for example due to a large truck ahead, while the Mad Max setting will suggest lane changes when your car is traveling just below its set speed, allowing you to zip around slower traffic.

For a look at how the lane change will work in practice, check out the demonstration video on Tesla’s blog post about the feature.

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