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Tesla launches Autopilot software for Model S

The technology, which was equipped in the Model S from October last year, includes a forward radar, a forward-looking camera, 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors and a digitally-controlled electric assist braking system.   Following the launch this week of Tesla's Version 7.0 software – delivered by over-the-air updates – the technology can now enable the Model S to steer within a lane, change lanes with the tap of a turn signal, and manage speed by using active, traffic-aware cruise control.   Digital control of motors, brakes, and steering helps avoid collisions from the front and sides, as well as preventing the car from wandering off the road. Equipped vehicles can also scan for a parking space, alert the driver when one is available, and parallel park on command.   Tesla added that real-time data is fed back from the Tesla fleet, ensuring that the system is continually learning and improving upon itself.    However, Tesla cautioned drivers that the technology does not offer full self-driving features, drawing a comparison with the systems that airplane pilots use when conditions are clear.   It added that: "The driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car, but will have intuitive access to the information the systems are using to inform actions."

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.