Tesla to Offer First ‘Full Self-Driving Features’ in August

Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk disclosed on Twitter Sunday that the company plans to roll out its "Version 9" software in August of this year, and that the update will "begin to enable full self-driving features".

Musk is not promising that Teslas will become fully autonomous in August, only that there will be activation of a subset of features that will eventually add up to full autonomy.

The features will be "enabled" on Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot 2.0.

Version 9 is the first full update of the software since version 8 was released in 2016. Despite its name, Tesla's existing Autopilot technology is not true self-driving capability, but a set of advanced safety features that have also helped Tesla gather data for training its self-driving software.

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Tesla intends to make quite a range of vehicles.

Shortly thereafter, Musk noted that the "next gen Roadster will be absolutely out of this world" and that "for those who love to drive, there is no finer auto in history and we don't think there will be another".

But Musk's promise of full self-driving comes at a tricky time for the company, which is facing increased regulatory scrutiny after two fatal crashes where drivers had engaged Autopilot.

Elon Musk made a surprise unveiling back in November 2017 when he presented the new Roadster.

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Tesla declined to confirm which features will be offered in the upcoming update, nor when the promised full self-driving functionality will be available.

Tesla's future profitability hinges on ramping up its Model 3 output, and the company has suffered from a series of failures to hit its weekly targets.

General Motors said last week that its driver assistance feature, Super Cruise, will allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel for extended periods, but will stop the vehicle automatically if drivers are not attentive.

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