Over-the-air software updates could improve the system in the near future
Tesla’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system has received a black eye recently after reports of several crashes by people allegedly using the tech, including one fatal incident. However, the California-based EV maker isn’t ready to give up on the idea. In fact, Autopilot 2.0 could eventually bring truly driverless travel to the roads, according to insiders speaking to Electrek.
The key to expanding Autopilot’s capabilities is adding even more sensors to the system. Electrek reports the next-generation version would feature three forward-facing cameras, additional radar units on the front corners, and software updates. Spy shots already show Tesla testing a mule with these improvements.
Adding more cameras to the front would let each of them specialize in a dedicated job. According to Electrek, one would use a wide-angle lens to scan multiple lanes, another would just scan ahead of the vehicle, and the last would have an even narrower focus as a backup. Meanwhile, extra radar units would let the system detect an even wider area around the EV.
Software also plays a massive role in Autopilot’s future, and Tesla can introduce incremental over-the-air updates that improve the tech. For example, Musk hints that combining special code with next-gen radar could achieve human detection on par with laser scanning. In the nearer term, the upcoming version 8.0 update could give “significant improvements” to current models, including the ability to automatically to exit the highway.
According to Electrek, there isn’t a firm release timeframe for Autopilot 2.0 or software version 8.0, yet. However, the new code definitely arrives before the new hardware. Musk says he meets with engineers every day to discuss what’s happening.