For any owner of a Tesla Model S, it must have felt like a magic trick. One day they got into their car and it could suddenly perform a whole range of amazing new tasks... like drive itself, almost. There was a clue to what had happened on the Tesla website: “Your autopilot has arrived”.
But it wasn’t a trick. It was the much-heralded 7.0 update that had been sent remotely to the car’s onboard computer. The new code brought the vehicle’s array of hardware – its cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors – to life, enabling it to steer automatically along the road, change lanes and adjust speed in response to surrounding traffic. At its destination it could even scan for a space and parallel park. No problem; no prangs.