Tesla has added two new safety features that make sure you stay in your lane, even if you don’t have Autopilot on.
Instead of merely warning you — like the Lane Departure Warning feature — the new features, called Lane Departure Avoidance and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance, take active measures to make sure you stay in your lane.
Lane Departure Avoidance, when enabled, will apply corrective steering to make sure the car stays in the intended lane. If the driver starts departing a lane without switching the turn signal on, and if the driver’s hands are not on the wheel, the feature will also start alerting the driver that the car is departing the lane. Finally, if Traffic Aware Cruise Control is in use, and the driver’s hands are “repeatedly” not detected on the wheel, the car will slow down to 15 miles below the speed limit, and turn the hazard lights on.
Lane Departure Avoidance works at speeds between 25 and 90 mph and can be turned on or off at will.
The other new feature is Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance, which will steer the car back into the driving lane if the system detects the car is departing its lane and that there could be a collision, or the car is close to the edge of the road.
Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance is on by default at the beginning of every drive, but it can be turned off for a single drive in the Autopilot Controls menu.
The cool thing about these new features is that, while they’re based on the same tech as Autopilot, they work without Autopilot (which, until recently, was an optional purchase).
The new features will be gradually added to all Tesla cars built after October 2016, starting with Model 3 and expanding to other models. The over-the-air update is free of charge.