Tesla owners get Autopilot update as New Year’s gift

SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk bestowed a New Year’s gift on 1,000 customers by activating a suite of new Autopilot features on the company’s electric sedans.

The limited dissemination of the Autopilot software upgrade — dubbed Autopilot HW2, or Hardware 2, a reference to the Tesla Model S and X vehicles built after October that are loaded with advanced radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors — is meant to ensure that any glitches are debugged before a broader rollout.

After initiating the Version 8.1 software update on New Year’s Eve, Musk tweeted that Tesla would then “hold to verify no field issues and upload to rest of fleet next week.”