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Tesla Rolls Navigate On Autopilot In North America

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Tesla cars are close to being able to drive on their own as the company that controversial CEO Elon Musk started just announced the activation of its Navigate on Autopilot feature. This will allow the car to change lanes and take exits under minimal driver supervision.

A couple of weeks ago, Tesla rolled out its 9.0 software, which included a new dashcam feature, games that can be played while the car is parked, and updates to the vehicle’s navigation settings. The update held back one feature: the Navigate on Autopilot.

On Saturday though, Musk tweeted: “Tesla Autopilot Drive on Navigation going to wide release in North America tonight.” This brings the company closer to a fully autonomous self-driving car with no driver interference.

For the Navigate on Autopilot, the system will require drivers to confirm lane changes before the car moves into an adjacent lane. Future versions of the technology will allow customers to waive the confirmation requirement. But until such time that regulators approve and validate the use of self-driving technology, Tesla maintained that “drivers are responsible for and must remain in control of their car at all times.”

The Navigate on Autopilot “guides a car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting and making lane changes, navigating highway interchanges, and taking exits.” The system is designed to allow users to find and follow the most efficient path to their destinations. And while drivers must always be attentive when using Autopilot, the system adds another layer of security by ensuring that drivers are paying attention since the lane-change feature won’t work without a driver confirmation.

With eight external cameras and radar and ultrasonic sensors, the Navigate on Autopilot “provides an additional layer of safety that two eyes alone would not have,” a statement from Tesla said.

The introduction of the Software Version 9.0 allowed Tesla to collect performance and safety data at scale based on real-world driving. The data collected was used to configure the features of the Navigate on Autopilot.

 

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