Vehicles will also receive incremental Autopilot 8.0 software updates while owners await v8.1 features.Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said Thursday night that Autopilot features for owners of hardware version 2.0 vehicles could be deployed as early as next week.
Looks like we might be ready to rollout most of Autopilot functionality for HW2 towards the end of next week— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 23, 2016
"Tesla Autopilot vision neural net now working well," the executive wrote in a Twitter post. "Just need to get a lot of road time to validate in a wide range of environments."
Some recent buyers have been justifiably frustrated that their new cars, equipped with much more advanced hardware suite than previous Autopilot 1.0, are missing some existing features such as parking assist, blind spot detection, auto emergency braking and auto-steer, among others.
Tesla engineers are working to write new software for the improved hardware system that will eventually deliver a broader range of capabilities than can be supported by the v1.0 hardware. The company claims the v2.0 hardware is capable of fully autonomous operation, but many more months of software development are expected to be require to achieve the goal.
"Tesla software team is working seven days a week to complete testing and validation," Musk said, referring to the Enhanced Autopilot v8.1 software. "Getting close."
The 8.1 release is expected to restore the lost functions and improve existing features, such as auto-park and auto-steer. It is also expected to enable autonomous transitions from one highway to another, or completely exit the highway before the driver is prompted to take over.