June 11, 2018 / 3:43 PM / 14 days ago

Tesla's Autopilot to get "full self-driving feature" in August

June 11 (Reuters) - Shares of Tesla Inc rose as much as 5 percent on Monday after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted that its Autopilot driver assistance system will get full self-driving features following a software upgrade in August.

Autopilot, a form of advanced cruise control, handles some driving tasks and warns those behind the wheel they are always responsible for the vehicle’s safe operation. But a spate of recent crashes has brought the system under regulatory scrutiny.

"To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features," Musk tweeted here on Sunday, replying to a Twitter user.

Musk said the autopilot issue during lane-merging is better in the current software and will be fully fixed in the August update.

A consumer advocacy group on Friday urged Tesla to fix what it termed as “flaws” in Autopilot after a preliminary government report said a Model X driver did not have his hands on the vehicle’s steering wheel in the final six seconds before a fatal crash on March 23.

“The software update is good news,” said analyst Chaim Siegel from Elazar Advisors, adding the stock was still benefiting from last week’s prediction by Musk that it would finally hit its production target for its Model 3 sedan.

Tesla’s future profitability hinges on ramping up Model 3 output, and the company has suffered from a series of failures to hit its weekly target. (Reporting by Sonam Rai and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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