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Model S and Model X cars with the inbuilt hardware are already in production and customers can buy one, Tesla said last week. But the features possible with the new hardware will be enabled only later through over-the-air updates after testing over "millions of miles of real-world driving," Tesla added.
The company is evidently not taking chances after deaths in accidents involving Tesla cars in China and Florida raised some questions about the readiness of autonomous technology. In the Florida instance, it was confirmed that Tesla's Autopilot technology for driver-assistance was activated, while in the China incident, Tesla said it does not have sufficient data to establish that the technology was engaged.
The company has since then upgraded the Autopilot technology, adding radar as a primary control sensor. The radar was added to all Tesla vehicles in October 2014 as part of the Autopilot hardware suite, but was only meant to be a supplementary sensor to the primary camera and image processing system, Tesla said.
CEO Elon Musk said it would take the company some time into the future to complete validation of the software and to get the required regulatory approval.
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