In October of 2016, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced all of his company’s vehicles would be fully self-driving. For the first half of 2017, Tesla Autopilot 2.0’s over-the-air software updated around every three weeks. Since then, the updates have been sporadic (in October of 2017, it had been nearly five months since the last autopilot update).
How these Updates Affect Safety
Many of the features from the previous version of ADAS (advanced driver assist system) are still missing. As a result, Tesla vehicles built since October of 2016 lack safety models enabled in older makes. At the beginning of 2017, Musk promised those features would come out soon. They didn’t.
In April 2017, owners of Tesla’s Model S Sedans and Model X SUVs sued Tesla, alleging their semi-autonomous driver assist system was “essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous.” Tesla originally called the suit “disingenuous,” “inaccurate,” and “sensationalist.” However, the company came under scrutiny after several fatal crashes involving their autopilot system made headlines.
As of May 2018, Tesla settled and has agreed to pay those who purchased the autopilot upgrade between 2016 and 2017 $20-$280. Their spokesperson stated, “…it eventually became clear that it was taking us longer to roll out these features than we would have liked or initially expected. We want to do right by those customers, so…we’ve agreed to compensate customers who purchased Autopilot on Hardware 2 vehicles who had to wait longer than we expected for these features.”
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