Tesla’s latest update reportedly breaks Autopilot rather than improving it

tesla-autopilot-model s

It seems Tesla is having a bit of a snafu with its latest over-the-air (OTA) update for its cars. Jalopnik discovered various Tesla owner reports claiming that their vehicles’ Autopilot driver-assistance system was disabled following a failed OTA update this past week.

OTA updates are one of the various ways Tesla keeps its cars with the times in terms of software updates to improve functionality. This latest one, however, does the opposite. It instead reportedly breaks the automaker’s controversial Autopilot system that enables semi-autonomous driving functions for brief periods of times and in certain situations.

Although innovative, the Autopilot system is controversial as it is not perfect, leading to some fatal accidents after several owners mistook the system as a legitimate autonomous driving system, which it is not.

The OTA update was actually meant to fix and improve various aspects of the Autopilot system. The changes included new abilities for managing on- and off-ramp maneuvers while adding traffic light and sign recognition. But instead, the new software update crippled the system.

“This is a currently known issue and our engineer team is hard at work resolving the problems that have occurred,” a Tesla employee reportedly told a Model 3 owner this week via email in Fremont, California.

The owner, who received the email and spoke to Jalopnik anonymously, took delivery of the Model 3 earlier this year and realized the OTA software updated failed on Tuesday, September 11. A fix was supposedly promised by Wednesday, but no resolve was observed. Rather, the owner’s Model 3 Autopilot was still kaput.

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The cause of the problem hasn’t been identified, nor are there many specifics as to whether this issue is isolated to the Model 3, or if it also affects Model S and Model X owners as well. Other owners apparently also took to the Tesla Motors Club forum to express their Autopilot malfunction dismay following the same update.

Elon Musk himself is also aware of the issue, posting the following tweet while dealing with an already large array of issues surrounding the EV automaker:

We presume the “longer response times” is in relation to customer service and the hunt to fix the problem with the latest OTA update.

OTA updates are one of the innovations Tesla helped introduce to the automotive market as cars become more complex, technologically advanced, and heavily computer driven than ever before. This allows engineers to make sure cars are up to date with the latest software for optimal functionality and most of all, safety, as they’re always constantly researching and developing ways to improve existing technologies.

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