Instant Analysis: "Major Improvements" to Tesla Motors, Inc.'s Autopilot Coming

By Markets Fool.com

Tesla Model S Autopilot. Image source: Tesla Motors.

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Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said Wednesday morning the company is about to announce "major improvements" for its driver-assist technology, called Autopilot.

The updates, which Musk said on Twitter will be widely released in "a few weeks," will be implemented via an over-the-air software update for vehicles equipped with Autopilot hardware. The update will be released in Autopilot versions 8.0 and 8.1, and the improvements will be achieved "primarily through advanced processing of radar signals," the CEO said.

Investors can expect more details soon, as Musk said he is working on a post now that will be published "later today."

Does it matter?

Following a high-profile crash in a Model S earlier this year, that occurred while Autopilot was in use and resulted in a fatality, improvements in the electric-car maker's driver-assist system, which aids drivers on highways with steering and changing lanes, could help the company reshape the public's view of the technology. And any positive news about Autopilot could also help Tesla in its ambitious target for 50,000 vehicle deliveriesin the second half of the year.

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Furthermore, over the long haul, Tesla will need to prove to regulators its driver-assist systems are significantly improving safety. This is particularly important for Tesla because it plans to eventually bring to market fully autonomous cars.

Stay tuned at The Motley Fool for a closer look at Tesla's Autopilot update after it is released.

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Daniel Sparks owns shares of Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.