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Tesla Model S Software update adds Autopilot

Tesla has released a software update - Version 7.0 - with new Autopilot capabilities.

Designed to 'keep getting better over time', the latest software update allows the Model S to use its combination of cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors, and data to autonomously steer down the motorway, change lanes, and adjust speed in response to traffic. Once you've arrived at your destination, the Model S will also scan for a parking space and parallel park on your command.

Tesla says its commitment to 'developing and refining' the technologies to enable self-driving capability is a core part the brands mission, 'building Autopilot to give you more confidence behind the wheel'.

In October of last year Tesla started equipping the Model S with hardware to allow for the incremental introduction of self-driving technology: a forward radar, a forward-looking camera, 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car in every direction at all speeds. A high-precision digitally-controlled electric assist braking system was also added.

The Version 7.0 software release allows those tools to deliver a range of new active safety and convenience features, designed to work in conjunction with the automated driving capabilities already offered in Model S.

Tesla says this combined suite of features 'represents the only fully integrated autopilot system involving four different feedback modules', namely camera, radar, ultrasonics, and GPS. These mutually reinforcing systems offer realtime data feedback from the Tesla fleet, 'ensuring that the system is continually learning and improving upon itself'. Digital control of motors, brakes, and steering helps avoid collisions from the front and sides, as well as preventing the car from wandering off the road.

The new software update also features a significant visual refresh of the digital displays for the Model S.