Elon Musk promises self-driving Teslas in upcoming software update

Marco Green
June 12, 2018

The new Tesla Roadster could come with not one or two but "10 small rocket thrusters" for "top speed" company CEO Elon Musk said via his Twitter account. To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. Tesla's stock price jumped Monday by more than 4.5 percent.

The last time Tesla updated its software was with version 8.0 in 2016. "With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features", Musk tweeted.

But consumer groups say Tesla's marketing has often skirted the lines between encouraging responsible driving and suggesting the cars can drive themselves.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report last week that a Tesla (TSLA) operating on Autopilot sped up before a crash into a freeway barrier in California that killed the driver. In the final second before the crash, the vehicle, which was under control of the autopilot, accelerated from 62 to 70.8 miles per hour, while no evidence of pre-crash braking or evasive steering movement was detected.

However, it was not clear what self-driving features would be included in the August update.

Tesla's website now features a section on the Autopilot page called, "Full Self-Driving Capability".

In its current iteration, Tesla's Autopilot feature can keep a vehicle in its lane and adjust its speed based on surrounding traffic, among other features. In the last six seconds, the vehicle did not detect the driver's hands on the steering wheel.

Autopilot costs an extra $5,000 as a feature on Tesla electric vehicles.

Elon Musk plans to equip a new version of the Tesla Roadster with "around 10 small rocket thrusters arranged seamlessly around vehicle", he said in a tweet, adding that this arrangement will substantially improve the car's acceleration, allow it to achieve higher top speed, and also improve braking and cornering. "All you will need to do is get in and tell your auto where to go", the site says.

"We can't treat cars like we do phones or computers", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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