Early American customers have now received a software update for their Tesla vehicle, giving the autopilot new technical possibilities. After the upgrade, the autopilot can stop the car even in the face of red lights and stop signs. Fully automatically and without the driver having to do anything. In the US, the new feature announced a month ago is available with firmware version 2020.12.6, reports the specialized US portal. Elekctrek.
Tesla is sending a traffic light and stop sign recognition to test the operation
Recognition of traffic lights and stop signs is still a beta version. According to the Tesla release notes, it is used in both the autopilot functions “traffic conscious cruise control” and “automatic control.” Whenever a Tesla equipped with the software update approaches a red light or stop sign, it first slows down and then comes to a complete stop at the intersection. A video posted on YouTube illustrates the procedure in front of a stop sign.
But Tesla goes a step further. According to the manufacturer, traffic light detection also works on flashing (failed) yellow traffic lights and, for example, on traffic light systems that are completely off at night. Even more: even with a green traffic light, the speed is reduced according to the information from Tesla in the release notes. This is done to avoid having to react to a red stop signal with an investigative braking maneuver in the event of a possible jump. To prepare the driver, the vehicle indicates its intention to reduce speed on the information display in the cab before adjusting speed.
Autopilot on? Hands on the wheel anyway!
For Tesla, it is important to emphasize that even when the traffic light and stop sign recognition are activated, the driver himself must be careful to monitor the traffic situation. The autopilot may not stop before all traffic checks. That is why it is important to keep your hands on the wheel even after the latest update. The current goal of the manufacturer should be to let the system learn different traffic situations and prepare it for fully autonomous subsequent driving. Currently, the driver remains responsible for driving and not the car itself.
Outside of the US, the new autopilot feature is unlikely to be expected before summer. Various adjustments still need to be made in the recognition of international road markings and types of traffic lights.