Some Tesla vehicles are about to get a big tech upgrade.
The car maker is expected to roll out a software update this week that will improve Enhanced Autopilot, which is the company’s new semi-autonomous system.
All Tesla vehicles built since October 2016 come equipped with updated hardware to enable Enhanced Autopilot.
But only Tesla owners who opt to pay $5,000 for the new system will get access to all of the high-tech tricks that come with each software update.
While Tesla has offered Enhanced Autopilot since October, the company has yet to activate all of the features that come with the updated system. In fact, because Tesla is still running verification tests, cars with the new semi-autonomous system have actually lacked some features that are available in the older version of Autopilot.
But that is starting to change.
The upcoming software update will help bring cars with Enhanced Autopilot up to speed. CEO Elon Musk said during Tesla’s shareholder meeting last week that the next software update will “exceed the experience of the hardware one cars.” He also said that the system will “advance very rapidly from there,” hinting that more updates will soon follow.
On Sunday, Musk said via Twitter that the over-the-air update should happen this weekend and that it will include “additional smoothness improvements to longitudinal control.” According to a report from Electrek, the update will also give cars with Enhanced Autopilot the ability to perpendicular park on their own.
Tesla says it will continue to add more features to the system as it completes the validation process. Here’s a look at what its vehicles with Enhanced Autopilot will be able to do once future updates are pushed out.
When Tesla first launched in October 2015, cars got the ability to autosteer. But Tesla cars with Enhanced Autopilot will be able to autosteer more accurately on complex roads.
The new system also enables the vehicle to better match its speed to traffic conditions.
Tesla cars with Enhanced Autopilot will abe able to automatically change lanes without the driver having to give any input.
The first generation of Autopilot required drivers to hit the turn signal for the vehicle to steer itself into a different lane.
Tesla vehicles with the new semi-autonomous system will be capable of exiting the freeway onto an offramp automatically.
After entering destination information into the navigation system, the vehicle will be able to take control on the freeway and get into the necessary lane to exit. Once the car reaches the exit, it will take the offramp, slow down, and return control to the driver.
Tesla vehicles with Enhanced Autopilot can self-parallel park and after the update this weekend the Autopark feature should also include perpendicular parking.
Like cars with the first generation of Autopilot, the vehicle will also scan for parking spaces and alert the driver when one is available.
The first generation of Autopilot allowed drivers to “summon” their cars to pick them up. But Enhanced Autopilot’s “smart summon” feature will be more advanced, enabling Tesla cars to navigate in more complex environments.
Musk said that the new hardware in Tesla vehicles that enables Enhanced Autopilot will also eventually enable Tesla’s full self-driving system.
Tesla’s full self-driving system, which includes all of the Enhanced Autopilot features, will cost $8,000 at the time of purchase.
The timeline for the roll out of the full self-driving system will depend on software validation and regulatory approval, Musk has said Tesla will demo the technology by the end of this year when it will have a Tesla drive from LA to New York City all by itself.