Tesla has rolled out its second-generation of Autopilot hardware - with the option of full self-driving capability - while adding the Model S 100D and Model X 100D to its line-up, providing the longest driving ranges in their respective model families.
'Enhanced Autopilot' relies on the company's latest 'Hardware 2' upgrade, adding an additional three cameras around the vehicle for greater accuracy, along with 12 ultrasonic sonar sensors that have nearly twice the range and resolution of the previous set-up.
A new computer system that processes the data from both sets of sensors is claimed to be 40 times more powerful than the first generation.
Ticking the 'Full Self-Driving Capability' option box doubles the number of cameras from four to eight, which enables fully-autonomous driving in "almost all circumstances".
According to the model configurator page, to use the autonomous feature owners will need to simply "get in and tell [their] car where to go".
If no destination is entered, the vehicle will scan calendar entries and take you to an assumed destination or just home if nothing is in your synchronised schedule.
Tesla makes a disclaimer, however, noting that self-driving functionality is dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary depending on jurisdiction. In Australia, autonomous vehicles are still in the testing stages and aren't permitted for personal use.
Earlier this month, the company announced the rollout of the new-generation Autopilot hardware in an initial run of 1000 vehicles, while CEO Elon Musk announced the activation via Twitter on Saturday (see bottom of article).
Above and Below: Tesla Model X
In a second tweet, Musk also confirmed that the auto-steer function will be limited to 45mph (72km/h) with the update for the time being. The limit will raise as the company "gets more data".
Using the same 100kWh battery pack as the high-performance P100D versions, the 100D Model S and Model X are essentially the same as the 90D but with a larger battery pack.
The Model S 100D claims a 632km driving range, while the Model X 100D claims a still-impressive 565km on a single charge.
Despite not being performance-oriented, the Model S and Model X 100D models sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds and 5.0 seconds respectively - matching the figures quoted by 90D variants.
By comparison, the Model S and Model X P100D models claim a driving range of 613km and 542km respectively, while 0-100km/h takes 2.7 seconds (Model S) and 3.1 seconds (Model X).
Auto steer limited to 45 mph on highways for now, i.e. heavy traffic, where it is needed most. Limit will raise as we get more data.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 22, 2017