Tesla Autopilot Inches Towards Full Autonomy, Now Changes Lanes Without Driver Input

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Tesla is moving one step closer to fully autonomous driving with the latest update to its Autopilot software; more specifically, the optional Navigate on Autopilot feature. With Navigate On Autopilot, you can punch in a destination and while on the highway, the vehicle will autonomously take you to your destination with prompts to commit to lane changes along the way.

The way it currently works, if your Tesla wants to make a lane change, the driver must confirm the action before the vehicle proceeds to take the necessary action. The new update allows the car to decide for itself if and when to change lanes automatically – all without driver intervention.

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Tesla writes:

Once enabled, anytime a driver is on a highway and uses Autopilot with a location plugged into the navigation bar, the feature will be on by default. If a driver selects ‘No’ to Require Lane Change Confirmation, lane changes will happen automatically, without requiring a driver to confirm them first. Drivers can elect to get notified about an upcoming lane change by receiving an audible chime as well as a default visual prompt.

Drivers will still have the option to cancel a lane change if they wish, and the company has put in safeguards, including the requirement that a driver’s hands be on the wheel before an automatic lane change takes place. The company goes on to say that the feature has been tested internally and through the Early Access Program (which is basically a beta program for unreleased software features given to a small segment of Tesla owners) over the course of half a million miles.

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“We’ve also heard overwhelmingly from drivers in our Early Access Program that they like using the feature for road trips and during their daily commutes,” Tesla writes. “We’re excited to release the option to the rest of the Tesla family.”

In order to take advantage of this latest Navigate on Autopilot feature, Tesla drivers will need to have Enhanced Autopilot of the Full Self-Driving Capability packages installed on their Model S, Model 3 or Model X.

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