Tesla’s continuous improvements of its software is bringing new features and some important safety improvements. Specifically, the semi-autonomous Autopilot feature adds a so-called “abort procedure” according to Electrek.
It goes into effect if the driver doesn’t respond to instructions to put his or her hands on the wheel within 15 seconds. At that point, the car will turn the music down and slow to a crawl until the driver re-engages the steering wheel.
After that, Autopilot will only be re-engaged once the car is stopped and put into Park. At the least it’s a time out for a badly-behaving driver, but this is also potentially life-saving if the driver become incapacitated while using Autopilot.
The Drive Pilot program in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a similar function that will bring the car to a stop and activate the hazard lights.
Electrek also reports that the v8.0 update will likely be able to guide the car through freeway interchanges, a feature bound to wow Tesla loyalists and techies alike.
The system will allow the driver to guide the car from one freeway to another via an interchange road merely by the driver’s use of the car’s turn signal.
Such a feature is an outgrowth to the fact that Tesla has done substantial work improving its mapping devices.
When the updates will kick in remains to be seen. Last week Elon Musk noted during comments about the release of the P100D battery pack that v8.0 was in its “final review” stage, but the company hasn’t revealed further specifics or deadlines.