Tesla's Autopilot system is going international after clearing regulatory hurdles in several countries.
Autopilot has passed legal muster in each of the 19 countries where the brand's cars are sold, except for Japan, tweeted CEO Elon Musk on Friday. Autopilot debuted in the US two weeks ago as part of Version 7.0 of the software that powers Tesla's Model S sedan and upcoming Model X crossover.
Regulatory approvals received, so Autopilot rolling out to all countries! (Excluding Japan, which is still under review)— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 23, 2015
Tesla's Autopilot is one of the most advanced driver-assist systems available today. The software works with sensors on the car and is capable of both driving and steering for extended periods of time. Musk on Friday also tweeted that an update to Autopilot would be "coming soon." The improvements mentioned in Musk's tweet are updates to existing features rather than new ones.
Autopilot 1.01 coming soon: curve speed adaption, controller smoothness, better lane holding on poor roads, improved fleet learning!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 23, 2015
Autopilot is still in "beta" mode, but drivers are already putting it to the test. A three-person team completed a 2,995-mile sprint from California to New Yorkin an impressive 57 hours and 48 minutes, spending most of that time hands-off. Several drivers have also , including one of a car making an unexpected dive to the side of the road. Tesla has said repeatedly that drivers should remain in control of their vehicle at all times.
Not only is Tesla's technology moving overseas, some of its manufacturing may be as well. Tesla is in talk with China to shift towards local manufacturing, Reuters reported Friday. The automaker has seen weak sales in China, partly due to the high cost of importing vehicles from its factory in California. Tesla could cut the price of its cars in China by one third if they were manufactured within the country's borders, Reuters said.
Tesla will host a conference call to discuss its third-quarter earnings on November 2.