Design Engineering

Tesla’s Autopilot features a Mad Max mode currently in development

Devin Jones   

Automation General Automotive tesla

Musk confirms lane-changing feature via Twitter but as yet it isn't available to drivers.

Mad Max

When it comes to Tesla, it seems as if nothing is surprising anymore. From building giant manufacturing facility “tents” in the Bay area to including an “insane,” mode on the Model 3, Tesla and its founder Elon Musk don’t subscribe to convention.

So when Twitter user Jon Gold tweeted out a sketch of a Tesla Semi integrated into a Mad Max scene, of course Musk tweeted out “It’s real,” with photographic evidence.

The photo above shows the center console of Tesla vehicle, with its autopilot in development mode, allowing employees to test different features of the car. While not available to consumers, you can clearly see the existence of a Mad Max mode when it comes to what Tesla refers to a “Blind Spot Threshold.”

What does this mean exactly? It has everything and nothing (we don’t have access to it yet) to do with the way Tesla vehicles change lanes. As of right now, the autopilot feature will change lanes, but only after initiated by the driver with a blinker light. Interestingly enough, since Tesla vehicles will virtually ‘always yield,’ when facing an obstacle in the next lane, Musk talked about the possibly inclusion of a manual override for more aggressive manoeuvres. Presumably—given the nature of the franchise—this is where the Mad Max mode would come in handy, pardon the pun.

Just to reiterate, neither the Mad Max mode nor the L.A Freeway mode that Musk joked about are currently available on consumer Model 3 vehicles. Whether or not this will change still remains to be seen.

Musk previously suggested that fully autonomous software would be ready for the next of next year, although he also stated that version nine of Tesla’s software update coming in August will include the first set of ‘full self-driving features.’


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