It is no secret that Tesla owners have been waiting for the release of the highly anticipated feature called “Navigate on Autopilot.” This has been the narrative since the version 9.0 software was rolled out at the start of October. The previous software included navigation aids and app updates, but not the active guidance feature that many users were keen to try, Engadget reports.
But users need not wait any longer as the new navigation feature will go live in North America, according to a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Navigate on Autopilot will assist drivers by guiding the car from the on-ramp to the off-ramp of a highway, including making suggestions for lane changes and navigating highway interchanges, according to Tesla.
This should make long and tiresome highway journeys less taxing since, although drivers will still need to supervise the movements of the car, they can allow the guidance systems to find the most efficient lane for them to travel in and make sure that they do not miss their exit.
The initial version of the feature will only suggest lane changes, requiring drivers to confirm that they wish to change lanes before the car moves. However, in the future, the component will be expanded to allow users to waive the confirmation requirement so that the car can change lanes automatically with no driver input required, according to a Tesla blog post.
As described by Elon Musk’s company:
“Our most advanced Autopilot feature ever, Navigate on Autopilot is an active guidance feature that, with driver supervision, guides a car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting 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.”
In addition to changing lanes, Navigate on Autopilot expands the Enhanced Autopilot feature by guiding the car through the on-ramps and off-ramps of highways. Drivers enter their desired location into the navigation and confirm they wish to enable Navigate on Autopilot. From there, the feature is activated when Autosteer is engaged.
There is an option to configure the speed of the lane changes based on driver preferences, with four options available: Disabled, Mild, Average, and Mad Max. The slower settings will only suggest lane changes when the current lane you are traveling in is particularly slow, for example due to a large truck ahead, while the Mad Max setting will suggest lane changes when your car is traveling just below its set speed, allowing you to zip around slower traffic.
In related news, Tesla revealed that customers ca now buy a suped-up Model 3 at a lower price point. The company revealed that customers who purchase a Model 3 Performance, which starts at $64,000, will no longer need to shell out an extra $5,000 for flashier wheels and a spoiler on the trunk. Going forward, those upgrades will come with the base price.
The “performance package,” as the upgrade was called, included 20-inch wheels with sportier tires, lowered suspension, better brakes and a higher top speed..
Car expert, Peter Valdes-Dapena, wrote about taking two versions of the Model 3 Performance — one with the $5,000 performance package and one without — out for a spin.
“Without the upgraded wheels and tires, the Model 3 Performance felt awkward and, really, a little scary on a twisty mountain road,” he noted.
Tesla said in a statement that it “periodically” adjusts “available options and packages in order to simplify our product offering and deliver the best possible driving experience to customers.” But some drivers who had already purchased the $5,000 upgrade package were not pleased.