It’s looking very likely that Tesla is going to go ahead and add some restrictions to the use of its Autopilot feature with the next firmware update, going by recent reports concerning the beta version of Firmware 7.1.
One of the beta version’s testers apparently leaked some images showing such restrictions — hence the rumors. The images do seem to be fairly obvious in their implications, though, so perhaps “rumors” isn’t the right word.
The move to restrict the use of the Autopilot feature makes sense, as the feature has clearly been misused (going by some of the crazier YouTube videos that have been posted) by some owners. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has even commented on the matter himself, referring to such incidents as people doing “crazy things” — so I’m not at all surprised to see that some restrictions are now being put in place.
Teslarati provides more:
The new Autopilot update apparently restricts its capabilities to speeds below the posted speed limit, while potentially disabling Autosteer under the same conditions. It is unclear if the software with the restrictions has been downloaded to all Autopilot enabled cars but reports from within the Tesla community indicate that the release has gone out to select beta testers.
Owners across the forums are not so much focused on whether the restrictions are a good idea, but rather the principle that Tesla has subtracted features after they have already been released. Some Tesla owners have even gone as far as saying they will refuse to install updates until they know if it will limit features that currently exist.
TMC forum member Cyberax puts it succinctly: “If there’s an update that removes a functionality that is useful for ME then I’m not going to install it. Moreover, I’ll sue Tesla if they update my car without asking me. This screenshot with 45 mph restriction is now a line in the sand for me.”
While the need for some restrictions seems obvious, I doubt that the sentiment expressed above is that uncommon. I wonder what would happen if such a lawsuit was to be filed?