Watch Tesla cars steer and park themselves with new software update (VIDEO)

Tesla Model X © teslamotors.com
Tesla’s latest software update may bring us one step closer to having self-driving cars on the road. While cars with the new software are not autonomous, they undoubtedly impress with their ability to change lanes and park themselves.

The software is going to be publicly available for Tesla Model S and Model X owners on Thursday. However, it has been available since mid-August for a select few early-access testers scattered around the US and parts of Europe.

As can be seen in the video uploaded by a tester, Version 7 software’s autopilot feature will allow drivers to cruise along the highway between road markings without using any hands at all. When the driver uses his turn signal, the car switches lanes on its own without any trouble. 

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Tesla cars are already outfitted with the necessary sensors, cameras and radar, and the new software simply puts them to use. Another feature that the update makes possible is an automated parallel parking system.

Version 7 will be made available worldwide on October 15 and it will cost Tesla owners $2,500 to enable the autopilot features. Musk said that the new software version comes with a “new look” interface with even if they customers don’t pay for the autopilot features.

Tesla is implementing more features down the road to similarly ease the difficulties of driving. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has teased the idea of a “summon” button, which will have your car drive itself to your location. Musk also recently said that he predicts that Tesla car batteries that could last for 620 miles will exists by 2017, and that the cars could be fully autonomous in “three years.”

But even with Tesla’s current level of automated driving, they’ve already brought to the consumer a feature that traditional automakers are promising to deliver several years down the road. Toyota and Volvo recently said they will commercialize self-driving technology for highway transportation in 2020. GM is promising a similar feature on a Cadillac model next year.