Dubbed by Musk as "Tesla Version 9", the new software will likely only be available for Tesla vehicles with the Autopilot 2.0 features - that is, vehicles manufactured after October 2016 with the "Hardware 2" stack that Tesla claimed provides the necessary equipment to allow full self-driving capability in the future. Musk also tweeted over the weekend that the new version of his Roadster two-door sports coupe will feature a SpaceX option, a nod to his rocket company. Musk complains about heavy press coverage of crashes involving Tesla vehicles, while more numerous fatal crashes happen every day. Previous updates to Autopilot were "rightly focused entirely on safety", he said. A Tesla representative told the publication that SpaceX and Tesla "are occasionally able to share ideas that help the other".
Set to go live in August, the V9 update will build on the Tesla fleet's Autopilot feature, improving its autonomous navigation capabilities and bringing drivers one step closer to true hands-free driving.
Being "full self-driving", as Elon Musk calls it, doesn't mean that the vehicle will drive itself, though it could.
In a rare move, the NTSB in April said it had tossed Tesla from the investigation, asserting the Silicon Valley auto maker violated a formal agreement to be a "party" to the probe by releasing detailed information about the crash before government officials had vetted it. Most cars lack the lidar sensors and 360-degree cameras that can be used to detect lanes, obstacles, and traffic-sensors that are ubiquitous in autonomous test vehicles.
Missy Cummings, the director of Duke University's Humans and Autonomy Lab, said Musk's self-driving statement was an "attempt to generate hype" and that his assertion of a focus on safety was "laughable".
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And it's not as if Tesla is just trying to make passenger cars either.
Tesla has received criticism for how it has promoted the feature.
"We're not going to do motorcycles", said company co-founder and CEO Elon Musk during an annual shareholder meeting.
Even without a motorcycle, Tesla has its work cut out for the next few years. And we think that is enough time for the tech-maverick Elon Musk to figure out how those 10 rockets will blend into the vehicle.