Tesla reduces Autopilot self-driving capability of Model S and Model X

Tesla has reduced the capability of its Autopilot self-driving system found in select Model S sedans and Model X SUVs in Europe in order to comply with strict local regulations.

As a result, Autopilot is now limited in capacity across all models in Europe when compared to its fully featured North American counterpart. For reference, Australia’s version is more like that of the former than the latter.

Affecting older Model S and Model X owners, the software downgrade restricts Autopilot’s version of active lane-change assist to use on divided roads with two or more lanes of traffic in either direction.

Once this feature is turned on and the indicator is turned on, an owner’s vehicle will wait at least 1.5 second before starting to change lanes and up to five seconds before cancelling the action if hasn’t been able to start due to an obstruction.

Autopilot’s version of steering assist has also taken a step back, with the amount of lock able to be applied reduced.

Therefore, an owner’s vehicle may not be able to manoeuvre around curves or stay within its lane in certain situations, at which point driver intervention will be required.

Speaking of which, the driver will now be reminded to hold the steering wheel if their hands are not detected on it for 15 seconds and Autopilot is engaged.

Finally, Autopilot’s recently released Smart Summon parking valet feature now requires the driver to be within six metres of their vehicle to operate, instead of the usual 61 metres.

“We are disappointed with the requirements regulators have chosen to impose, limiting the effectiveness of these features, and will continue to advocate that full functionality be restored,” Tesla said in email sent to European customers.