Every automaker seems to be racing for the best self-driving car. But not all places are ok with this. Tesla has recently issued a software update that noticably reduces the abilities of the Autopilot system in order to meet European regulations.

According to a report by Electrek, Model S and Model X owners are receiving updates to their vehicles that modify the Autopilot feature. These changes are to comply with regulations set by the European Union in 2017 relating to vehicle steering equipment.

Some of the changes include:
  • Summon feature now requires the user to be no further than 6 meters away.
  • Auto Lane Change is required to take less than 5 seconds. If it does, it will abort the change and stay in the initial lane.
  • If the driver's hands are removed from the wheel for more than 15 seconds, it will remind the driver to place their hands on the steering wheel.
These changes render the Autopilot function far less helpful than it was initially. The end-goal for autonomy is to give the driver more freedom in a vehicle. These changes undo much of that previously established freedom. But these rules are intended for the safety of everyone, so Telsa is abiding by them for now.