Tesla could limit automatic steering for drivers failing to use Autopilot correctly

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New Autopilot safety restrictions could be introduced by Tesla in a bid to increase driver safety, WIRED reports.

In the instance a driver fails to respond to visual and audio warnings instructing them to return their hands to the wheel, the latest version of the Autopilot software, version 8.0, will automatically disengage.

The safety restrictions follow several crashes which involved drivers of Tesla Model S and Model X cars using the automatic steering feature.

According to the company, in two recent accidents the drivers failed to place their hands on the steering wheel despite the Autopilot warning them to do so.

It seems the company is determined to enhance safety for the driver and other road users. Under the proposals, drivers who continue to ignore the Autopilot's warnings will be unable to re-engage the feature until the car is parked. However, the traffic-aware cruise control won't be disengaged.

Currently, drivers are issued regular warnings to 'Hold steering wheel', with the warnings disappearing once the driver applies pressure to the steering wheel.

If there is no pressure detected, the software will automatically slow the vehicle down while repeatedly instructing the driver to place their hands on the wheel.

While there is no confirmed release date for version eight of the Autopilot software, Tesla founder and CEO, Elon Musk, said it was "hopefully going to final review right now", while speaking at a conference last week.

The company explained that the software update will apply to Model S and Model X cars.

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