Tesla’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system recently received a pretty significant software update, and one of its new features makes sure you don’t get complacent behind the wheel – like an angry parent.
Demonstrated in the above video, Autopilot Version 8.0 has a lockout feature if the driver ignores the system’s prompts to put their hands on the wheel.
According to Black Tesla’s video, the system doesn’t ask the driver to put their hands on the wheel for over four minutes – meaning it could be based on driving conditions rather than time elapsed.
Using a ‘three strike’ approach, the system first makes three beeping sounds, then disables autopilot, and then proceeds to start slowing the car down.
After these stages have occurred, the vehicle will prevent the driver from reactivating Autopilot for the rest of the trip.
When the update was launched earlier this month, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, claimed Version 8.0 would have saved the life of the American man who died in July when his Model S collided with a semi-trailer while using Autopilot.
The Version 8.0 Autopilot software now relies on the pre-fitted radar as the car’s primary sensor, with the camera and image processing system playing second fiddle.
In combination with the new software, Autopilot Version 8 can now scan two cars ahead by ‘bouncing’ the radar pulse under the vehicle in front, and even take highway off ramps – though this feature will be limited to the US initially.
Tesla’s Version 8.0 software has already begun rolling out globally, and the company’s local arm has confirmed that Australian owners can expect to download the update over-the-air in the coming weeks.