Tesla Update Makes Self-Parking Cars Harder to Crash

Whether you love or hate Tesla’s autopilot feature, there’s no denying that the driving assistance and self-parking system still needs some work and is definitely worthy of its current ‘beta’ status. In response to recent accusations levelled at the system causing crashes whilst a vehicle is parking, Tesla has rolled out a new autopilot update that will require the driver to confirm the direction that the vehicle will travel in when the Summon mode is activated. Thankfully for autopilot users, like most other updates to Tesla’s onboard software, this update will take place over the air and should cause no inconvenience to the driver.

Currently, the Summon feature can be activated in two ways, using the gear selector from inside the car or externally via a smartphone app. Originally, when the system was activated from inside the vehicle, forward would be the default direction for the car to move, with reverse an alternative choice from the car’s centre console. This change means that whenever Summon is triggered, the driver must now deliberately choose the direction before the car will start to move.

Theoretically, this feature should never have been necessary, as the sensors installed on Tesla’s vehicles should never allow the vehicle to collide with large stationary objects (although it does warn that thin obstacles, such as bikes, may not be detected). It is hardly a new concept that features will be made more fool-proof in order to prevent misuse and the resulting blame on the company should an accident occur and thankfully this update shouldn’t make autopilot any more cumbersome to use for the everyday user, requiring only one more input to get their Tesla going where they want it.

Alexander Neil

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