Through a tweet posted yesterday, Elon Musk announced that Tesla will start rolling out the ‘long awaited’ Autopilot Version 9 update this August. He was replying to a customer who complained about the autopilot being a bit indecisive under certain conditions. In his tweet (embedded below), Musk said that the impending update will not only sort out those niggling issues, but will also “begin to enable full self-driving features”. He had earlier promised to enable full self-driving features in Tesla vehicles by 2019.
That issue is better in latest Autopilot software rolling out now & fully fixed in August update as part of our long-awaited Tesla Version 9. To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 10, 2018
Tesla’s autopilot feature became a subject of controversy earlier this year after a fatal Model X crash in California killed 38-year-old Apple engineer, Walter Huang. The company subsequently admitted that autopilot was on during the crash, but accepted no blame for the tragedy. The incident, which happened last March, is currently under investigation by the country’s transportation regulator, NTSB.
Meanwhile, Musk also seemingly clarified that he was dead serious about the ‘SpaceX option package’ that he mentioned at Tesla’s tumultuous shareholder meeting earlier this year. In another tweet posted Sunday, he said that the aforementioned package will include 10 small rocket thrusters arranged seamlessly around the car.
According to him, the rocket engines will dramatically improve acceleration, top speed, braking & cornering. Tongue firmly in cheek, he also joked that they might even help the cars to fly.
SpaceX option package for new Tesla Roadster will include ~10 small rocket thrusters arranged seamlessly around car. These rocket engines dramatically improve acceleration, top speed, braking & cornering. Maybe they will even allow a Tesla to fly …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 9, 2018
While most news organizations had earlier taken his talks about a ‘SpaceX Options Package’ with a pinch of salt, many now seem to be convinced that he is serious. CNBC is also quoting an official Tesla spokesperson to report that the company is actually planning to offer such an option. However, given how incredibly ambitious it all sounds, we’d still want to see more concrete info before being sold on these promises.