Tesla cars should get a major update next week.
Tesla 8.0, the biggest software update to Autopilot yet, is slated to roll out September 21, Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted on Twitter Friday. Tesla has not released details about all of the new features coming with its software update Version 8, but Musk has said that the upgrade will make Tesla cars with Autopilot three times safer than other cars on the road.
The software update will improve the accuracy of Autopilot by making bigger use of the radar sensors on Tesla vehicles. Radar sensors have previously served as a supplementary sensor, but with the update they will play a bigger role in determining whether objects are a danger.
Musk said the update could have prevented the fatal accident that occurred in May while a Tesla Model S was driving in Autopilot. The Model S involved in the accident passed under a trailer, with the bottom of the trailer striking the windshield, before driving off the road and, ultimately, hitting a power pole.
Tesla wrote in a blog post about the accident at the time stating that the Autopilot system did not notice “the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied.” The accident is still under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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