Tesla Software Version 9.0 Still Being Beta Tested by Early Access Users

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has promised a week’s end public release of the Tesla Software Version 9.0, but it appears that early access users are only now testing the final beta versions ahead of a full release. If the public version comes tomorrow, it will be one of those rare times when a software version is released before all the bugs are out. Not.

Seriously, though, even for a maverick company like Tesla, leaving no space between beta testing and a public release opens it up to all sorts of risk. Just this month Tesla “broke” Autopilot and one more ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) feature with an OTA update, prompting several Tesla owners to go to the forums with the issue.

The biggest risk comes from the Autopilot enhancements arriving in v9.0. The Mad Max Mode for aggressive lane changes on the “Navigate on Autopilot” feature (Drive on Nav) could cause problems if drivers aren’t ready to take over in an instant. This would be a challenge in crowded highways, to say the least. And it doesn’t help that the driver is given a fair but scary warning before disengaging turn signal confirmation, for instance:

What that means is that the default setting is for the driver to nudge the turn signal in the right direction to initiate a lane change, but the driver can turn this off. Turning it off could mean sudden and automatic lane changes for which the driver must be prepared. A definite nail-biter right there.

The Navigate on Autopilot feature will be available on certain segments of the route on a preset destination. If available, the option to Nav on AP will be shown, along with the white steering wheel on blue background logo that represents Autosteer.

If you’re not in the early access program and you get the update this week, be cautious, especially if the software update says “beta”. Even if not, be careful with new features and only test them out when the coast is clear and visibility is good – preferably in the daytime.