Tesla Inc.’s (TSLA) Autopilot system could include a “Mad Max” lane-changing setting in the future.
Back in 2017, a Twitter user had posted a photoshopped image of a Tesla Semi rig in "Mad Max," a dystopian movie franchise known for extreme driving in chaotic chase scenes. On Sunday, Musk retweeted the image and revealed that an option with a name inspired by the film actually exists on Autopilot’s developer build.
It’s real pic.twitter.com/L9h3F86Guo
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 25, 2018
According to the subsequent image uploaded by Musk, passengers will be presented with three different blind spot threshold options for lane changing, starting with standard and going up to the most aggressive setting: Mad Max. In a follow-up tweet, the billionaire entrepreneur joked that Tesla was even thinking of adding an “LA Freeway” mode to appease faster drivers, before adding that such an option would be “too loco.”
When asked which options will eventually be made available to users, Musk said that Tesla will probably add a "manual override" because self-driving cars tend to always yield to other traffic.
“It’s a tough call,” Musk said in a tweet. “Reality is that it will be pretty easy to bully a self-driving car, as it will always yield. Will prob have a manual override that requires continuous press for hardcore lane changes.”
Aside from Mad Max, other new features in Tesla Autopilot’s developer build include “Follow Nav,” “Blinker to Fork,” “Enable ULC,” and “Vision Stops." Musk refrained from providing more details on these particular modes.
At present, Tesla Autopilot lane changes must be initiated by activating the blinkers, placing the responsibility with drivers to determine if the road is clear enough. (See also: Tesla's Autopilot Chief Departs for Intel.)
Musk previously predicted that Tesla’s fully autonomous software will be ready for the end of next year. The tech mogul added that a version 9 software update, which includes the first full self-driving features, will arrive in August. (See also: Tesla to Roll Out Software with Self-Driving Focus.)