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“In a few weeks,” Tesla will remove the requirement for drivers to confirm lane changes when its cars are operating in Navigate on Autopilot mode, Chief Executive Elon Musk said Wednesday during the company’s Q4 earnings call.
Navigate on Autopilot is an active guidance feature for Enhanced Autopilot that, with driver supervision, guides a car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting and making lane changes, navigating highway interchanges, and taking exits. “It’s designed to make finding and following the most efficient path to your destination even easier on the highway when Autopilot is in use,” Tesla says on its website.
The system currently requires drivers to confirm lane changes using the turn stalk before the car moves into an adjacent lane. The update would allow customers in markets where regulators will approve it to waive the confirmation requirement if they choose to.
“And over time, probably all regulators will approve it,” Musk said on the call. “But we kept stalk confirm there to make sure that we took care of any strange corner cases. It’s really quite sublime if you have stalk confirm off and the car goes from highway on-ramp, passed the slower cars, takes the interchanges and then takes the exit and then comes to a stop after the exit. It’s really quite profound to have that experience.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said earlier this year he believes the automaker’s current hardware for its Autopilot system is sufficient for achieving full autonomy. In the Q3 letter to shareholders, Tesla said Autopilot will soon experience a rapid rollout of additional functionality.
“Now that the foundation of the Tesla vision neural net is right, which was an exceptionally difficult problem, as it must fit into far less computing power than is typically used, we expect a rapid rollout of additional functionality over the next several months and are progressing rapidly towards our goal of a coast-to-coast drive with no one touching the controls.”