Tesla has pushed a new software update to its vehicles which adds a lot of new features, such as controlling phone calls via the steering wheel buttons and the ability to detect speed limit signs, but version 2023.12 also improved the Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) in two ways.

According to NotATeslaApp, the new software update adds the ability of the AEB to operate while driving in reverse, although with limited functionality, as well as increasing the forward speed range where the system can work.

Before this version, Tesla’s Automatic Emergency Braking could operate between 3-90 miles per hour (5-150 kilometres per hour) while driving forward, but with the 2023.12 over-the-air (OTA) update, the AEB can operate between 3-124 mph (5-200 kph).

For UK owners, it’s not a particularly useful improvement, but for those using Germany’s unrestricted Autobahn, it should be a welcome addition.

The changes have been included in the owner’s manual, where Tesla changed the wording to better suit the changes:

Automatic Emergency Braking is designed to reduce the impact of frontal and reverse collisions with limited functionality while in Reverse.

Additionally, as per the owner’s manual, cited by NotATeslaApp, the system is now designed to determine the distance from detected objects, not just those in front of the vehicle.

AEB works by constantly scanning the road and automatically applying the brakes to reduce the vehicle’s speed and potential severity of the impact. However, the owner’s manual states that there are some situations where the safety feature does not apply the brakes or stops applying them:

  • Turning the steering wheel sharply
  • Pressing and releasing the brake pedal while AEB is applying the brakes
  • Accelerating hard while AEB is applying the brakes
  • The detected vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian is no longer ahead

Automatic Emergency Braking is always enabled when starting the vehicle but can be disabled from the car’s Autopilot settings. However, even with AEB disabled from the settings screen, the vehicle may still apply the brakes after detecting an initial collision to reduce further impact.