Tesla Adds a New Advanced Tailgater Feature to Autopilot Self-Driving System
New Tesla Autopilot mode allows turns your car into an autonomous asshole as you sit back and relaxby Andrei Nedelea, on
Tesla is at the forefront of autonomous driving tech in the automotive industry, but competitors are hot on its heels trying to match the broad array of features provided by its Autopilot system. Now the EV maker is consolidating its position as a leader in this field with its newly released Advanced Tailgater mode that will be added for free to all Autopilot-equipped Tesla models via an over-the-air update.
Tesla’s Advanced Tailgater Update
Advanced Tailgater is not a mode you use every day, but then again neither is Ludicrous power mode, yet when you do use it, you are reminded why you bought a Tesla in the first place - to be pinned back in your seat as if you were being launched in a space shuttle.
The new Autopilot mode comes via a new submenu in the infotainment system and, while you can just enable it and leave it on auto, it also features a custom mode that allows drivers to tailor the car’s temperament using sliders.
According to the official statement put out by the manufacturer to announce and explain the update (and why it was deemed necessary and useful to have), “Advanced Tailgater (currently being rolled out as 0.85 beta version) makes driving two inches from the car in front safe and easy. With this new, free feature, you will be able to maintain this minimal constant distance without any concentration on the driver’s side and thanks to our cars’ instant acceleration, your Tesla will remain glued to their bumper no matter how they try to shake you off.”
But that’s not all, because the aforementioned customization sliders allow the driver to indirectly control how frequently the car autonomously moves into the oncoming lane about halfway, how frequently it flashes its lights, and whether or not you want it to autonomously honk its horn. Tesla’s aim with this system was to show that Autopilot is so advanced, it can simulate the behavior of an actual road rage-prone driver who will blow any honest mistake you may make in traffic out of proportion, then follow you around for miles to let you know he spotted that and doesn’t think very highly of you as a result.
An excerpt from Tesla’s lengthy 12-page blurb about Advanced Tailgater explains that they “designed the system to imitate the behavior of actual drivers with firm beliefs that they are entitled to the entire width and length of a road.
The decision to add this system to all our Autopilot-equipped lineup was made on the basis that users can relate more to a machine that behaves more like a human; humans have flaws, they get angry and lash out at others around them for no good reason."
Advanced Tailgater will be added to all Tesla models with Autopilot as part of a firmware update that will upgrade the car’s operating system to version 9.1b that will be rolled out across the entire world on April 1, at 12 PM PDT.
Tesla will also ship out a pair of Tesla-branded, oversized, squared off sunglasses to all Model 3, Model S and Model X owners who receive the update in order to comply with the legal framework enforced in some states. In Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi, for instance, if you are caught tailgating without vast shades covering your face, you can be fined if spotted by the highway patrol - Tesla is exploiting a legal loophole by providing these welding mask-sized sun specs to make sure drivers can enable the system safely in their area.
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