Last year, Tesla expanded its semi-autonomous capabilities with Navigate on Autopilot. With the new feature, your Tesla can automatically take the correct freeway exit or interchange based on the route entered into the navigation system. Although the system would make lane change suggestions in accordance with the route and the speed you wish to travel, you still had to activate the turn signal if you wanted to change lanes. Now, that caveat no longer stands, as drivers can opt for automatic lane changes.
Tesla rolled out a software update this week giving drivers three new settings. One of these settings is “Require Lane Change Conformation,” and selecting “No” enables the automatic lane changes. Drivers also have the option to hear an audible chime before an upcoming lane change with the new setting “Lane Change Notification.” For cars made after August 2017, the steering wheel can vibrate to serve as another form of notification. Finally, drivers can tell the car to automatically activate Navigate on Autopilot every time a destination is entered onto the screen, thanks to the new setting “Enable at Start of Every Trip.”
Tesla says its cars have driven more than 66 million miles with Navigate on Autopilot, and more than 9 million suggested lane changes have been executed. In a pilot program, the automaker has already driven more than half a million miles with lane change confirmation turned off.
The changes are available to customers who have purchased Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-Driving Capability, which recently returned to the options roster. The new software is rolling out first in the U.S., with other markets to follow. In addition to Autopilot updates, Tesla is also rolling out new Atari games for the touchscreen. Check out the video below.
The updates arrive on the heels of a fatal Tesla crash last month that appeared eerily similar to another one that occurred in 2016. U.S. safety agencies are investigating the crash to determine whether Autopilot played a role.
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