Tesla vehicles are set to receive a major update in early 2018 which will offer improvements to their navigational systems. Elon Musk teased the Tesla navigation "overhaul" on his personal Twitter account on Thursday when responding to a query from a customer.
Glad to see that Tesla owners are having a good experience. Working to improve further. Some cool software updates coming soon. https://t.co/16NabnHeuD
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 21, 2017
Generally speaking, Tesla's vehicles have been well received: reviews of the Model 3, which debuted earlier this year, were for the most part positive. One of the hallmarks of the company, however, is that they are continually refining and innovating their own tech. While each new model is of course intended to build upon its predecessors, over-the-air updates can add new and enhanced functionality to cars that have already been released into the wild, so to speak.
This is how Tesla plans to implement level 5 autonomous driving in its vehicles, once the technology is ready to hit the road. The company will give customers the option to pay for this feature up front — though there's only a vague timeframe for when it's set to become available. Competitors have alleged that true autonomy might not even be possible using current hardware.
Level 5 autonomous driving remains unproven, but there's an established track record of efforts to bring it to life. A record that may give loyal Tesla owners enough confidence to give Musk and his team the benefit of the doubt.
In January 2017, Tesla began rolling out an update to its Enhanced Autopilot functionality featuring traffic aware cruise control and forward collision warnings. In May, an update lifted restrictions on the Autosteer feature, raising the speed limitation from 55 mph to 80 mph.
These updates help keep Tesla vehicles remain on the cutting edge for years after they leave the factory. However, making these tweaks requires the rigorous testing that Musk refers to in his tweet – no one wants to see their car become less functional as a result of a patch.