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Tesla tones down "Full Self-Driving" description, highlights uncertainty over availability timing

by Justin King

The company now warns that such features may require driver supervision until billions of miles have been accumulated.

Tesla has made a few significant changes to its description of Autopilot capabilities, reinforcing the uncertainty of when "Full Self-Driving" will be available.

The company's Autopilot website page has dropped the headline "Full Self-Driving Hardware on All Cars" in favor of new language with the title "Future of Driving," while "All Tesla vehicles produced in our factory -- have the hardware needed for full self driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver" has been backpedaled a bit to " All new Tesla cars come standard with advanced hardware capable of providing Autopilot features today, and full self driving capabilities in the future -- through software updates designed to improve functionality over time," according to a list of changes spotted by TeslaMotorsClub member 'lunitiks.'

The company has dropped the "Enhanced Autopilot" descriptor in favor of the simpler Autopilot label that originally described the basic upgrade package, which enables auto-steer, intelligent cruise control, automatic lane changing, freeway transitions and self-parking. The page also adds a new clarification that "Current Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous."

Arguably the most significant change is a new sentence that states "The future use of [Full Self-Driving] features without supervision is dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers as demonstrated by billions of miles of experience, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some jurisdictions."

As the project appears to have fallen behind Elon Musk's ambitious targets, Tesla apparently decided to begin rolling out some of the advanced "Full Self-Driving" features later this year but without dropping the requirement that drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

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