The latest software update pushes Tesla cars closer to full self-driving mode

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Tesla is pushing out a major update for its vehicles: called Navigate on Autopilot, it gives Tesla cars the ability to drive themselves from highway on-ramp to highway off-ramp, with human supervision – so you can't fall asleep at the wheel just yet.

The upgrade follows on from the Version 9 software that rolled out earlier this month. It means the car will be able to suggest lane changes and take them itself, navigate to the correct exit, and of course maintain a safe distance away from other cars (something Teslas have been able to do for a while now).

"While initially the feature will require drivers to confirm lane changes using the turn stalk before the car moves into an adjacent lane, future versions of Navigate on Autopilot will allow customers to waive the confirmation requirement," Tesla says.

There's also a word of warning in the blog post announcing the software update: "Until truly driverless cars are validated and approved by regulators, drivers are responsible for and must remain in control of their car at all times."

One of the ongoing challenges of self-driving car tech is that humans seem a little too willing to pass responsibility over to their vehicle and allow themselves to be distracted by something else – Teslas are some of the most advanced autonomous motors around, but drivers still need to be watching the road, or the consequences can be fatal.

Tesla says its cars can now make two types of lane changes: to keep you on your programmed route or to keep you closest to your programmed cruising speed. You'll be able to set your speed preferences from the dashboard.

Via TechCrunch