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Tesla's first car designed for the self-driving era is coming


Tesla unveiled an updated version of its Model S sedan, with its interior undergoing its most major cosmetic overhaul since the car was first launched in 2012.

The new Model S features an even more minimalistic design than previous models, replacing the large vertical center screen with a more subdued horizontal one, as well as a curious semicircle steering wheel design. The new version is already showing up on Tesla's online ordering system.

Looking at the renders, the new Model S almost feels as if it's daring you to turn on Tesla's self-driving Autopilot mode. The steering wheel doesn't look comfortable to hold for long periods of time (unless this Tesla is also secretly a plane), and the addition of a screen behind the center console for rear-seat passengers suggest it's a car for leaning back and enjoying the autonomous ride. The images released also show video games like The Witcher and Stardew Valley on the main screen — perhaps for when it's time to charge up the car, or maybe a hint at a future where drivers can take their attention entirely away from the road. But with the very safety of Autopilot still a serious concern for regulators, that seems like a distant future. Elon Musk must be quite confident in Autopilot's abilities, though; otherwise, why would there only be half a steering wheel in the car?

The new Model S is set to be released later this year, starting at just shy of $80,000, with what some analysts expect to be one of the most efficient charging setups available today. Unlike some of its newer competitors.

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