PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Tesla Motors will roll out this week a new car and software program that gives drivers that ability to use its Autopilot technology the company announced.
The latest edition of the Model S, due out this week, will come standard with a so-called Autopilot function. Some other Tesla owners can buy a software program that will give them the same functions on their cars as well, the company said.
"Every single Model S now rolling out of the factory includes a forward radar, 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car in every direction at all speeds, a forward-looking camera, and a high-precision, digitally controlled electric assist braking system," the company website said.
But Tesla's Autopilot is not quite the self-driving car that has been talked about by car designers. Tesla said it's more self-steering. True self-driving cars, Tesla said, are still years away.
Autopilot is really designed for open highway driving and not stop-and-go traffic or city streets. Allowing the car to "steer to stay within a lane, change lanes with the simple tap of a turn signal, and manage speed by reading road signs and using active, traffic aware cruise control," the company said.
"Our system is called Autopilot because it's similar to systems that pilots use to increase comfort and safety when conditions are clear. Tesla's Autopilot is a way to relieve drivers of the most boring and potentially dangerous aspects of road travel -- but the driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car."
Tesla Model X or Model S cars built after September 2014 can get the software that will provide the same features for $2,500. The company said it will be several months before all Autopilot features are completed and uploaded to the cars.