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Tesla’s new safety features really push you to stay in your lane

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They work even when Autopilot is not in use

Lane Departure Avoidance will warn you to take control of your car when it senses you’re leaving your lane.
Image: Tesla

Tesla has introduced a pair of new safety features for its cars, which are designed to stop you from drifting out of your lane. Lane Departure Avoidance and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance are both designed to stop common causes of accidents that can occur while drivers aren’t using Autopilot, Tesla says.

Lane Departure Avoidance will alert you if you’re exiting your lane without a turn signal when your hands aren’t on the wheel. If this happens too much while you’re using traffic-aware cruise control, then the system will eventually turn on your hazard lights and automatically slow down the car to 15 miles below either the speed limit or your current set speed. This feature can be turned on or off at will, and works between speeds of 25 and 90 mph.

Meanwhile, the new Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance feature will automatically steer your car back into its lane if it thinks you’re going to crash or veer off the road. You can turn it off, but the car will re-enable it at the start of the next drive.

Lane departure warning systems aren’t a new safety feature. Initially developed for use in commercial trucks, the feature has been available in consumer cars dating back to at least 2001.

Back in February, Tesla announced changes to the self-driving features of its cars which split them into two categories. Regular Autopilot is capable of automatically steering your car while on highways, and also includes traffic-aware cruise control. The Full Self-Driving option goes further, and is able to suggest and make lane changes, as well as navigating highway interchanges and exits. In April, the company said that regular Autopilot will now come as standard on all its cars.

Both features are rolling out to Tesla Model 3 owners via an over-the-air update starting today. Eventually they’ll be available in all Tesla vehicles manufactured after October 2016, which are the models equipped with Tesla’s Autopilot 2.0 hardware.