NHTSA faults driver, not Autopilot or aggressive marketing, behind Tesla crash

Georgia ReedJan 24, 2017

Tesla is continuing to roll out its updated Autopilot software to Model S and Model X cars build since October, the company's founder Elon Musk confirmed over the weekend, and that includes a speed-limited version of the Autosteer function. While there are still a number of Enhanced Autopilot features to be activated on Tesla's newer models, this update does a decent job of bringing them up to parity with what's available on the older models equipped with Autopilot hardware. He further said that people should not buy Tesla cars if they are not willing to accept new updates frequently.

But CEO Elon Musk is asking Tesla owners to be cautious because some cars will need adjustments.

Despite the update, Tesla cars built since October still won't have all the features of older cars, as the newer vehicles are equipped with upgraded hardware that needs to be incrementally upgraded to test its efficacy.

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Meanwhile, those who are good enough with the technology of the Tesla cars, the update is also installed over-the-air so they can have it accessed right away and apply on their vehicles.

The fatal crash had cast a pall over Tesla's system, prompting some critics to say that the company had overpromised simply by choosing the name AutoPilot.

While other automakers introduce facelifts in their lineups about three or four years after a model is launched, Tesla's plan for the future would drop that interval to 12 to 18 months, which is less than half of what a typical company does. Since the introduction of the Model S in 2012, Elon Musk's electric auto company has done a fantastic job advancing its automotive division's products, adding upgraded models and features on a schedule that far exceeds the regular life cycle schedule followed by most automakers.

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Automatic high beam headlights: Turns the high beams on and off automatically. As a result, it "did not identify any defects in design or performance of the AEB or Autopilot systems of the subject vehicles (referring to MY2016-2016 Model S) nor any incidents in which the systems did not perform as designed".

Side collision warning: Alerts the driver when a collision with a vehicle in the adjacent lane is imminent. The current cap for TACC is 75 miles per hour.

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