Tesla Roadster 'SpaceX' package to get rocket thrusters?

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 14, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company's controversial Autopilot driver-assistance system will get full self-driving features in a software update due out in August.

"It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the (approximately) 40,000 people who died in USA auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage", Musk said last month. This means that a bottle containing high-pressure air will be used to add thrust to the auto without actually strapping a rocket to the back of your vehicle - something that's probably not going to make your auto zero-emission.

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", Elon Musk tweeted.

Tesla's vehicles have been involved in several crashes this year and at least two people have died in those crashes.

Back in November 2017, a new generation of the Tesla Roadster was revealed, with production scheduled to start in 2020. "With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features", Musk tweeted here on Sunday, replying to a Twitter user.

Tesla has been gradually upgrading its Autopilot features with regular software updates.

And continuing a piecemeal, step-by-step transition towards full autonomy, while a good way to build on steady progress, could actually increase Tesla's crash-related headline risk.

A consumer advocacy group on Friday urged Tesla to fix what it termed as "flaws" in Autopilot after a preliminary government report found that a Model X driver did not have his hands on the vehicle's steering wheel in the final six seconds before a fatal crash on March 23. That's because, according to many experts, autonomous features are riskiest when human drivers have to maintain attention even while they don't have full control-that is, with mid-capability systems.

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