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Tesla Is Steering Toward Self-Driving Cars

A software update in the coming months will let its Model S take the wheel, sometimes.

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Elon Musk, purveyor of things that walk the line between crazy awesome and just plain crazy, has announced its first steps toward making a Tesla self-driving car.

Though it's a long way from hitting city streets without needing human interaction, Tesla will start by letting you drive on open highways and private property. Even more intriguing: You'll be able to "summon" your car out of a garage or parking place using your phone. (Uber, but for Tesla, to make the obvious joke.)

This feature, and others, will come with a software update to the Tesla Model S. The use of updates makes the Tesla seem more computer than car, but also means that the company can, on a whim, add features like automatic steering, constant knowledge of charging-station locations, and automatic emergency braking.

If you own a Tesla Model S, it's probably going to get cooler. If you don't own a Tesla, Tesla owners are probably going to get more annoying.

Brendan Klinkenberg is a tech reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.

Contact Brendan Klinkenberg at

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