Tesla has announced it will be rolling out a software update to its electric cars that will deliver an autopilot mode. Before you get excited by ideas of being driven home from the pub, this will not turn your car fully autonomous; rather, it will bring the ability to change lanes and park itself.
Tesla's software Version 7 will be available to the public on 15 October and will enable Model S and Model X owners to parallel park hands-free, automatically steer the car within road markings and safely change lanes on motorways when you turn on your indicator signal. With the current Tesla line-up having sensors, cameras and radar fitted on the vehicle this software will look to utilise these to allow for a more hands-off experience.
Some features that have been teased by Musk in the past are still yet to arrive, such as the "Summon" button, which will see your Tesla drive itself to your location. But we might not have to wait too long as he is optimistic that fully autonomous cars will arrive by 2017 and is fully supportive should Apple be building its own self-driving car.
Tesla Software Version 7 release date and price
Version 7 will be made available worldwide as of 15 October over a course of five days and will cost Tesla owners $2,500 (£1,600) to enable the autopilot features of the update. Owners will be able to update their cars over-the-air. Musk announced the new release over Twitter and said there will be a "new look" interface on the Tesla in-car entertainment system, even for those who do not opt for the new autopilot package, with a "more comprehensive UI" coming in version 7.1.
The update will also be available with the same features for the newly announced Model X, which claims to be the safest, fastest and most capable SUV in history.