semi-autonomous driving system Autopilot would use advanced radar to
improve its ability to prevent crashes and likely would have prevented a
fatality of a driver using the system in May.
Autopilot 8.0 also will temporarily halt users from using the system if they fail to respond to audible warnings.
“We’re making much more effective use of radar,” Chief
Executive Elon Musk told journalists on a call. “It will be a dramatic
improvement in the safety of the system done entirely through software.”
Tesla’s Autopilot, launched in October, has been the
focus of intense scrutiny since it was revealed in July that a Tesla
Model S driver using the technology was killed in May in a collision
with a truck. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is
investigating the incident.
Musk cautioned the improvement “doesn’t mean perfect safety.”
“Perfect safety is really an impossible goal,” he said.
“It’s about improving the probability of safety. There won’t ever be
zero fatalities, there won’t ever be zero injuries.”