The magazine Consumer Reports has been one of the most vocal critics of Tesla's Autopilot driver-assistance system.

It has called for Tesla to disable Autopilot's automated-steering feature, calling the technology "too much, too soon."

It also called on Tesla to stop using the "Autopilot" name, claiming it could be misleading.

DON'T MISS: Consumer Reports slams Tesla on Autopilot: 'too much, too soon'

But now Tesla is launching an upgraded version of Autopilot as part of its version 8.0 software update, including some changes meant to address criticism of its safety.

Consumer Reports recently tested Autopilot 8.0 on its own Tesla Model S, concluding that the new system is "better, but still needs improvement."

Autopilot now provides additional warnings to drivers to keep their hands on the wheel, which testers liked.

Tesla Autopilot suite of features - with version 7.0 update

Tesla Autopilot suite of features - with version 7.0 update

Autopilot also now checks more frequently if drivers have their hands on the wheel, Consumer Reports noted.

It now issues its first warning to put hands on the wheel within a minute of taking them off, as opposed to more than three minutes previously.

Mercedes-Benz's Drive Pilot provides warnings within the same time frame, while other systems do so within 15 seconds, the magazine noted.

ALSO SEE: Tesla Adds Safety Provisions To 'Summon' Self-Driving Feature

Visual warnings have also been made more apparent, and are followed by a loud beeping sound. If the driver ignores this, Autopilot will eventually shut off.

The only way to reactivate the system in this situation is to pull over, and restart the car.

Tesla is also more selective now about where Autopilot can be activated, placing more restrictions on roads that are curvy or have unclear lane markings.

Tesla Autopilot

Tesla Autopilot

While It considers Autopilot improved, however, Consumer Reports still has some issues with the system.

Tesla's changes to Autopilot still have not addressed all of its concerns.

MORE: Tesla Autopilot 8.0 upgrade would have averted fatal crash, Musk says

Autopilot still waits too long to warn drivers to put their hands back on the wheel, it suggests. It also still shouldn't be called Autopilot—and it notes Tesla's use of the term "public beta" to describe the system indicates it is unfinished.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said Autopilot is not really in the "beta" stage in the traditional sense, usually meaning a piece of software being tested by consumers before a full release.

2016 Tesla Model S

2016 Tesla Model S

He has also said Autopilot 8.0 could have prevented the fatal May crash that has brought increased scrutiny on Tesla and the technology.

Musk views Autopilot as a stepping stone to fully-autonomous driving, which clashes somewhat with Consumer Reports' view of the system as better, but still in need of improvement.

Tesla Motors and other automakers must "take stronger steps to ensure that these systems are designed, deployed, and marketed safely," the magazine said.


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