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Tesla updates software to improve radar in wake of Autopilot crash

Tesla Motors customers will get enhanced radar and other features in an over-the-air software update that starts Wednesday night.

Elon Musk says change should help avoid crashes like one that killed Tesla driver in May

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., talks during a news conference at the company's headquarters in Fremont, Calif., in this Sept. 2015 photo. Tesla has unveiled a software update that will makes its vehicles more reliant on radar than cameras when driving in Autopilot mode. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

Tesla Motors customers will get enhanced radar and other features in an over-the-air software update that starts Wednesday night.

The update makes the Model S sedan and Model X SUV rely more reliant on radar than cameras when driving in Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode. Teslas made after October 2014 have radar.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the change should help avoid crashes like the one that killed a Tesla driver in Florida in May. That driver — who was using Autopilot — crashed into a tractor-trailer that Tesla's camera failed to detect.

Musk says the update also will allow customers to set a maximum temperature control system to help keep kids and pets safe if they're left in the car. The system automatically turns on the air conditioning.

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