Tesla Autopilot update seeks better safety


Tesla CEO Elon Musk insists that the Autopilot update is not a case of issues being fixed but it's instead the next natural step in Tesla's continual improvement of its products.

A Tesla driver died earlier this year when the technology missed a lorry. Currently, U.S. road safety regulators are investigating the software, which now has 200-plus additions, notes the BBC.

Musk has said the updates will roll-out in the coming weeks, updates which he says will make the cars much safer.

In July, a consumer rights group in the U.S. accused Tesla of an "aggressive rollout of self-driving technology".

In May, a Tesla auto hit a semi that had been turning left, and the Autopilot system failed to spot the white trailer against the bright sky, resulting in the death of the driver.

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Tesla has been facing mounting criticism for whether the feature lulls drivers into a false sense of security and whether the company rolled out the technology - which is still in the public beta-testing phase - too quickly.

One of the main challenges of using cameras and radars for a braking system is how to prevent so-called false positives, in which a vehicle might think an overhead highway sign, for example, is an obstacle to be avoided. The radar will work no matter what weather or light conditions the vehicle may be in during its roll on the driveway, which can help decrease false auto alarms and alleviate speed, which is actually some of the most common reasons behind vehicle crashes nowadays. For example, a road sign might look like a collision course to the vehicle's radar.

These false positives will be logged in the Tesla mainframe and eventually ignored by all the company's cars. The automaker announced the new radar processing technology, which can see ahead of the vehicle in front of the driver, as well as track two vehicles ahead of it, according to Electrek.

That should help Tesla further reduce the chances of people being injured in their cars while using Autopilot mode. It's only available on vehicles built after October 2014. Radar helps the auto see things that may be blocked to cameras in bright sunlight or bad weather.