Tesla has been working on enhancing its Autopilot self-driving feature, and the upcoming update might make its cars even safer than human-driven vehicles.
The update will cap the top speed to the preset speed limit when the vehicle’s Autosteer function is used, TechCrunch reported citing sources. Autosteer is a Tesla feature that controls the wheel and maintains the car’s lane. If speed limits could be imposed using the updated software, it would make vehicles less prone to accidents. A Purdue University study in 2008 found that most drivers on U.S. roads don’t follow speed limits, which is one of the major causes of accidents.
“Of the 988 drivers in the survey, 21 percent thought it was safe to drive up to 5 mph over the speed limit, 43 percent thought it was safe to drive up to 10 mph over and 36 percent thought it was safe to drive up to 20 mph over the speed limit,” the study said.
In the previous version of the software, Tesla’s self-driven cars were allowed to exceed the speed limit by 5 miles per hour on undivided highways. The new software will not allow the cars to exceed the speed limit, making them safer. In addition, Tesla’s updated system will send alerts, letting drivers know when they need to take the wheel.
The company’s Enhanced Autopilot feature was earlier expected to release in mid-December, but CEO Elon Musk tweeted last Saturday that the company was still working to get the update out.
Musk’s latest tweet promises a release by next week.