Tesla Autopilot now changes lanes with zero driver input

5 April 2019 - Autoblog

Tesla Autopilot now changes lanes with zero driver input

It's going to go ahead and do it unless you tell it not to

Tesla is officially rolling out an Autopilot update that allows the vehicle to change lanes on its own, without any driver input. We were told this was coming when Tesla announced and activated its "Navigate on Autopilot" feature late last year. The features added then included the ability to take off-ramps, highway interchanges and "suggest" a lane change that the driver had to activate by flipping the turn stalk.

Now the software is designed to automatically make lane changes it deems necessary and safe, and the driver has to cancel them if they don't want the vehicle to change lanes. This feature exists to steer you around slower traffic, ideally getting you to your destination faster when you have one plugged into the navigation system.

There are a few different settings you can select for the new automatic lane change. One allows the car to make its lane changes without bothering the driver or asking for a confirmation. Drivers can opt to be notified of an impending lane change by activating a chime and a visual prompt that is shown on the central screen. Cars capable of using the feature made after 2017 are able to vibrate the steering wheel to indicate a lane change, too. Tesla says a driver can cancel the lane change by moving the car's turn signal or tapping on the "lane change notification" on the touchscreen.

Tesla says it has just over 500,000 miles of testing data on this new auto lane change feature, and has deemed it safe to use. It's also very clear in the press release that "this feature does not make a car autonomous, and lane changes will only be made when a driver's hands are detected on the wheel."

This update should be rolling out to Teslas that are equipped with Enhanced Autopilot now.

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