Tesla’s recent Version 8.0 upgrade to its Autopilot system is designed to improve upon the system and its relationship with the driver. Here’s your punishment should you fail to listen to the car when it tells you take back control.
When Tesla released the update earlier this month, CEO Elon Musk claimed it would have saved the life of Joshua Brown, who died behind the wheel of his Tesla Model S with Autopilot activated after it failed to detect a semi-truck, causing a crash.
The new update now primarily relies on the radar system, rather than the cameras, and can now monitor up to three car lengths ahead. The update also changed the user interface, with new restrictions and punishments for the driver while using the Autopilot feature.
The update includes a change to the visual and audible alerts for the driver to take hold of the wheel, followed by a “lockout” that restricts the driver from re-engaging Autopilot if they fail to react following three warnings from the system. In that case, the car has to be parked before Autopilot will be available to activate again.
According to the video, four minutes and twenty-seven seconds passes before the system even asks the driver to put his hands on the wheel. It then progresses through the three beeping warnings, disables the autopilot and begins slowing the car down, and locking out the driver from reactivating Autopilot for the rest of the drive.