2016 Tesla Model S Autopilot Showcased in New Video | Edmunds

2016 Tesla Model S Autopilot Showcased in New Video

PALO ALTO, California — Car shoppers got a better idea of how the Autopilot feature in the Tesla Model S electric sedan works, courtesy of a new YouTube video entitled "Revolutionize Your Commute."

Autopilot is at the vanguard of self-driving automotive technology.

It allows the Model S to steer within a lane, change lanes with the tap of a turn signal and parallel park on command.

Tesla touts the feature as helping to avoid crashes from the front and sides, along with preventing the car from wandering off the road.

It can also help the driver find a parking space.

The Autopilot features are progressively enabled over time with software updates.

When Autopilot debuted last October, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk warned that "hands-off" driving was not recommended.

However, Musk said earlier this month that Autopilot "is probably better than human at this point in highway driving."

He added: "It is certainly better than a human at staying in the center of the lane."

Tesla announced earlier that it is limiting the hands-free operation of the Autopilot system in the Model S as it adds updates.

The move follows YouTube videos posted by some Tesla drivers that show what appear to be near-misses on the road with Autopilot.

"I'm not aware of any cases where Autopilot caused an accident," Musk said in a recent media conference call. "In fact, even the cases where people did pretty crazy things — set the car in autonomous mode and got into the backseat — none of those resulted in accidents."

The Autosteer feature in what Tesla calls Autopilot 7.1 software is now restricted on residential roads and roads without a center divider.

"The release of Tesla Version 7.1 software is the next step toward developing fully autonomous driving capabilities and delivering them through over-the-air software updates, keeping our customers at the forefront of driving technology in the years ahead," Tesla said in a statement.

Key Model S competitors include the BMW ActiveHybrid 7, Lexus LS 600h L and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid.

Edmunds says: This video is a real-world look at how Tesla's Autopilot technology works.

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