Tesla’s Autopilot is getting smarter. The semi-autonomous driving system, set to form the basis of CEO Elon Musk’s self-driving car ambitions, has been receiving regular software updates to improve the underlying artificial intelligence. The company’s vehicles running on the Hardware 2 system can now tackle some of the toughest corners on the road.
In a video shared by Electrek on Thursday, Tesla Model X owner Mike switches on Autopilot along a curve of Virginia highway near Chester. The Tesla Model S P100D loaner car that he’s using effortlessly guides its way through a tricky corner, where previously his car struggled to make the turn.
It’s a promising step for Tesla as it prepares to roll out autonomous driving. The Hardware 2 suite of cameras and sensors, which have shipped with every car since October 2016, are expected to power the new mode with just computer updates. Musk has suggested that coast-to-coast autonomy is achievable in the next six months.
Before that point, Tesla needs to get the existing Autopilot features moving past the Mobileye systems used in previous vehicles. In the Enhanced Autopilot feature set, Tesla promises advanced features like moving to the correct lane, a feature this video suggests is coming soon.
“Once on the freeway, your Tesla will determine which lane you need to be in and when,” the company says in its description of Enhanced Autopilot. “In addition to ensuring you reach your intended exit, Autopilot will watch for opportunities to move to a faster lane when you’re caught behind slower traffic. When you reach your exit, your Tesla will depart the freeway, slow down and transition control back to you.”
Watch the feat in action below:
In a second video, Mike tried the curve again with his Model X at night. It sticks closer to the left side of the curve than right, but ultimately offers a far smoother ride than before:
“This is a huge improvement for the vehicle,” Mike says in the second video. “One of the best runs ever by this Model X.”
Perhaps autonomy this year isn’t so unfeasible after all.