Tesla raises price of Autopilot, may be bringing new features

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Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said he plans to release details of improvements to the electric carmaker’s “Autopilot” semi-autonomous driving system.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote in a Tweet Wednesday that a software update will be released in a few weeks.

The plans of Tesla Motors to raise additional money before the year ends should not be considered as a surprise, given the company’s ambitious plans. As well as support for highway interchanges version 8.0 will make Autopilot’s steering smoother and the radar cruise control more responsive.

Separately, Tesla plans to raise more money this year, either through an equity or debt offering, as it prepares to launch the $35,000 Model 3 auto while ramping up vehicle and battery production. Radar helps the vehicle see things that may be blocked to cameras in bright sunlight or bad weather. Since the Model S first went on sale, Tesla has fixed bugs, improved performance and added new features via these free updates, which are sent to the auto via its internet connection at night, while it is recharging. Tesla has repeatedly said that customers need to still be engaged with driving and keep their hands on the wheel. The feature will only be reactivated if the auto is stopped and put in “Park”. It will also, apparently, improve the system with updates.

Autopilot allows a Tesla vehicle to drive itself while staying in its lane, or to change lanes on its own after the driver hits the signal wand.

Many other vehicle companies offer these features, but Tesla’s system is different in some ways.

Tesla is unlikely to say the changes have been added directly in response to recent accidents; Electrek notes that investigations showed drivers’ disregard for system warnings played a role or occurred nearly concurrently with at least two accidents. Despite booking almost $400 million in Model 3 preorder deposits this year, Tesla raised $1.7 billion in a Q2 equity offering and has another offering planned by the end of the year.