Elon Musk Says Tesla Self-Driving Features Will Start Arriving in August

Lloyd Doyle
June 14, 2018

Elon Musk said that Autopilot version 9 should arrive this August, and with it will come the first "self-driving features." .

The latest software update, which started to roll out last week, features a new feature that will increase the number of warnings it gives drivers to take control of the auto. It's unlikely that version 9 will make the cars completely autonomous-at least not yet-but it could allow for better self-driving capabilities in certain situations.

It's too early to say what those specific features might be, but the announcement comes as a bit of a surprise, given the dinged reputation of Tesla's self-driving tech at the moment. To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter. The negative coverage of Autopilot, combined with ongoing challenges with Model 3 production, battered Tesla's stock, though it has recovered some losses this month. In the final second before the crash, the vehicle, which was under control of the autopilot, accelerated from 62 to 70.8 miles per hour, while no evidence of pre-crash braking or evasive steering movement was detected.

The company promises to take passengers - not drivers, in this case - to their destination of choice without any human input.

The Autopilot feature, which includes auto-steering, lane assist and automatic braking must now be used with the driver remaining ready to take full control and keep hands on the wheel.

While the company has repeatedly pointed to human error in these cases, the "Autopilot" branding has left some drivers confused about the capabilities of the software, which is still now more of an "assist" feature than a a fully autonomous driver/navigator. There are many rules and regulations which require attention before Tesla can actually drive on its own.

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