Tesla's big Autopilot update starts rolling out tonight

Tesla's new Autopilot 8.0 software will begin rolling out tonight, CEO Elon Musk tweeted Wednesday morning, though the release of the over-the-air update will be "gradual."

The reason for the drip approach? Musk says it's "to make sure there aren't small regressions. Many car configs, many environments."

Version 8 (v8.0) of the company's software is a big one - Musk describes it as "a major overhaul on almost every level compared to V7" in another tweet.

Safety priority

The update will allow a Tesla to rely more heavily on radar over its camera systems to detect upcoming objects, which should mean safer driving in Autopilot mode. Musk said in a blog post describing the update that "the car should almost always hit the brakes correctly even if a UFO were to land on the freeway in zero visibility conditions."

The new and improved software has been a huge priority for the company following a fatal accident involving a Tesla in Autopilot mode earlier this year.

A leak this week gave us a preview of the new UI changes drivers can expect with v8.0, which also includes always-on max temperature control settings, among other improvements.