Tesla Motors has released the Tesla Version 7.0 software and announced that with this software release, the much awaited Autopilot mode for autonomous driving is now available. The company started equipping the all-electric sedan with the necessary technologies for the Autopilot in October last year. These technologies include a forward-looking camera, a forward radar, 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car and a digitally-controlled electric assist braking system.
Autopilot autonomous mode makes the Model S capable to steer within a lane, change lanes with the simple tap of a turn signal. It allows the car to automatically manage speed by using active, traffic-aware cruise control. The motors, brakes and steering wheel are digitally controlled and this helps in avoiding collisions from the front and sides. Moreover, the car doesn’t go wayward on the road, and becomes capable of finding a space for itself in the parking, as well as alerting its driver when a parking space is available and automatically parking.
Tesla says that fully autonomous cars are still a few years away and as of now, the driver is still responsible for and is ultimately in control of the car. The Tesla Version 7.0 software also brings the biggest visual refresh yet of the digital displays in the car.
In the US, Autopilot mode is optionally available for US$2,500 as an upgrade before ordering. If can also be enabled after delivery for US$3,000.