By Greg Kumparak
For months now, Tesla has been saying that their cars would soon pick up a whole new trick: autopilot.
Later this week, the first of those features will hit Tesla’s fleet — but we’ve already taken them for a spin. We went hands-on (hands-off?) with a pre-release version of the autopilot software, letting the car steer itself down the highway at 70 miles per hour.
One big thing to make clear: these features don’t turn the Model S into a full blown self-driving car. You won’t be punching in your destination and laying back for a nap; instead, these features are meant more to make your long highway commutes less painful.
Elon Musk says he sees full automation coming within about 3 years; this is just a big first step.
So what can it do for now?
Once you’re on the highway, an autosteering feature can maintain your speed, keep an appropriate distance from the cars around you, and keep you in your lane — even around big bends and turns. It doesn’t just let out a loud beep when you start to drift out of your lane; it physically controls the wheel.
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