Tesla recently rolled out an additional update for its Enhanced Autopilot advanced driver-assistance system (Software Version 9.0), which adds on a new ‘Navigate with Autopilot’ feature.
According to the company, Navigate on Autopilot is an active guidance feature that guides a car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting and making lane changes, navigating highway interchanges, and taking exits, all under the direct supervision of the driver. For now, the feature is currently running as a beta, requiring drivers to remain in control of their Tesla vehicles at all times.
So, what are the advantages of Navigate on Autopilot? Well, as Tesla says in a blog post, the system is “designed to make finding and following the most efficient path to your destination even easier on the highway when Autopilot is in use.”
To use the feature, drivers must first enable both Navigate on Autopilot and Autosteer in the Autopilot settings menu. Once you’ve keyed in your destination and the Navigate on Autopilot function is toggled in the turn-by-turn direction list, the feature is active and you can see it on the centre display, whereby a 360-degree visualisation shows a single blue line indicating the suggested path of travel.
From there, the vehicle runs in Autopilot as it normally does, although suggestions for lane changes (route-based and speed-based) are now given to the driver to keep you on your navigation route and as close to the set speed as possible. For instance, if you’ve set a speed of 110 km/h and the car ahead of you is doing 90 km/h, the system will suggest transitions into adjacent lanes that are moving faster so you aren’t held back, and thus, making the drive less efficient.
Tesla offers four different settings for speed-based lane changes (Disabled, Mild, Average, or Mad Max), which suggest lane changes depending on the size of the gap between the vehicle’s set speed and current speed.
This makes the drive more efficient as there’s less need to slow down and trail behind a slower vehicle before speeding up again as with conventional adaptive cruise control systems. However, the driver will still need to confirm the lane change, and the car’s eight external cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors form a redundancy barrier to provide an additional layer of safety, even if you forget to check your blind spots.
Aside from making lane changes, the system is also capable of automatically taking exits on divided highways, and warns drivers to take control when exiting with a distance countdown on the centre display to when the feature disables itself.
While it may not be the fully autonomous driving that the term ‘Autopilot’ prescribes, the company says that future versions of the feature will allow drivers to waive the confirmation requirement if they choose to.
The post Tesla introduces Navigate on Autopilot update feature appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.
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