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Tesla starts testing its autopilot features with Model S drivers

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 18, 2015
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As promised, Tesla's latest autopilot features are out in the wild. A handful of Model S drivers are now testing the electric car's upcoming semi-autonomous tech, including highway autosteer (which tackles lanes, passing and vehicle distance) and automatic parallel parking. Ideally, these vehicular pioneers will find the last remaining quirks in both the autopilot's behavior and its interface -- those edge cases that tend to creep up only in the real world.

It's not clear exactly when everyday Model S owners will get their turn, but it's important to temper expectations. The technology isn't really a peek at a future dominated by self-driving cars... at least, not yet. You'll still need to flick the turn signal to pass cars (to indicate intent and absolve Tesla of liability), and the additions won't help much when you're stuck in city traffic. Think of this more as a step up from the lane and braking assists that you see on other cars. They'll eliminate more of the monotony of driving, but there's no point at which you can completely glaze over.

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