Tesla’s Revamped Self-Driving Software Will Go Into Beta Testing Next Week

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Tesla’s long-awaited, revamped Autopilot is moving one step closer to becoming a reality.

After years in development and no shortage of serious setbacks, the California-based electric car giant is set to begin beta testing its new self-driving software next week. Following a complete system rewrite, the select group of chosen drivers will gain access to the update, which will include Full Self-Driving (FSD) mode, a significant advance from previous editions. In April, founder Elon Musk announced that the autonomous feature would be publicly available by the end of 2020, but that deadline is fast approaching.

Getting fully operational is critical for the automaker on more than one front. Not only will it be a boon to the company for being the first major marque to have such autonomous driving widely available, but it is also a necessity before Tesla can deploy the self-driving taxis it hopes to have on the road in a handful of markets sometime next year.

There isn’t any word yet on how long testing will proceed, but it will most likely need to be extensive if Tesla hopes to bring the program to market smoothly. Its many revisions and missed deadlines have raised eyebrows in the auto industry, though not nearly as much as the multiple fatal collisions that have occurred while previous generations of its Autopilot were in use.

None of that news seems to have dissuaded investors, however. Even during the worst phase of the coronavirus pandemic so far, Tesla has performed phenomenally well even as its competitors have struggled. Rally after

Teslas can now roll through green lights automatically

Autopilot grows smarter.


Tesla

Tesla continues to tweak and update its Autopilot system, likely in preparation for a Full-Self Driving beta set to launch in about a month, according to CEO Elon Musk. The latest update adds the capability for Tesla vehicles to automatically drive through green lights without a lead car.

According to the Tesla release notes, the vehicle will not require “explicit drive confirmation” to move through an intersection when a traffic light turns green. Before this update, drivers needed to give the car permission to proceed with a stalk push or a tap of the accelerator anytime they used Autopilot on city streets. Autopilot also always relied on a car in front of the Tesla to indicate when it was safe to start accelerating. All of these functions require Tesla owners to purchase the Full-Self Driving upgrade package, and no, it does not make any Tesla fully autonomous, despite its name.

Now the software will let a Tesla simply roll through as it recognizes the green signal even if the EV is the first car in line. When this happens, “the stop line in the driving visualization will turn green to indicate that the car will continue through an intersection,” according to the release notes. Don’t expect the Tesla to take over every intersection, though. The notes also state drivers still need to give the car permission if they’ve already brought the car to a complete stop when the light turns green. Autopilot also will not turn through an intersection — only accelerate in a straight line. The automaker said it expects that, as it gathers more data from the fleet of Teslas using the software, it will

Tesla’s third-quarter deliveries speed past estimates

Tesla keeps on cranking.


Tesla

Factory shutdown aside, 2020 has been kind to Tesla. The good news machine keeps on humming as the automaker said on Friday it delivered 139,300 vehicles in the third quarter of this year.

The figure beats estimates that ranged from 120,000 to 134,000 vehicles delivered, and it will surely help calm any fears Tesla’s reach only goes so far. Tesla’s official numbers are broken down into two categories: the Model S and Model X and the Model 3 and Model Y. The latter duo was the company’s best-seller, with Tesla delivering 124,100 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles last quarter. As for the Model S and Model X, the automaker delivered 15,200.

In terms of outright production, Tesla said it built 16,992 Model S and Model X EVs, and 128,044 Model 3 and Model Y EVs. The automaker hinted at even more positive news, saying, “New vehicle inventory declined further in Q3 as we continue to improve our delivery efficiency.”

Moving into the final quarter of this year, Tesla will look to continue the positive delivery numbers as it prepares to start construction of its new Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. There, it plans to build the Cybertruck and Model Y for customers on the east coast. Work also continues on a new Gigafactory in Berlin, which will provide Tesla a crucial footprint for European production.


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