Tesla’s Autopilot feature continues to evolve and gain new capabilities of semiautonomous driving. The company has been working on adding support for traffic lights and stop signs since last year, and now the new feature is being rolled out in the U.S. with the latest version of the Autopilot software. Cars can detect traffic lights and stop signs and respond the them automatically.
A video of the feature in action was posted to Twitter by Tesla fan account Third Row Tesla Podcast, showing the driver having their hands off the wheel and allowing the car to automatically stop when approaching a traffic light. The driver just has to monitor what is happening and be prepared to take control if needed.
Starting today Teslas in the US can automatically stop for traffic lights and stop signs.????????
Just say where you want to go. Your Tesla will drive you through city streets, across highways interchanges, go around slow cars, and exit all on its own.
— Third Row Tesla Podcast (@thirdrowtesla) April 24, 2020
In its release notes for the feature, noted by Electrek, Tesla writes that “Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control is designed to recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs, slowing your car to a stop when using Traffic-Aware Cruise Control or Autosteer. This feature will slow the car for all detected traffic lights, including green, blinking yellow, and off lights.”
As the car approaches a stop sign or a traffic light, it will detect both the presence of the light and its status. The car then notifies the driver that it will be slowing down via a notification, and will stop at the red line indicated on the display. If the driver wishes to continue past the stop line, once they have checked that it is safe and there are no other vehicles approaching they can press the accelerator pedal and the car will move forward.
Tesla reminds drivers that, “As with all Autopilot features, you must continue to pay attention and be ready to take immediate action, including braking because this feature may not stop for all traffic controls.” It also describes the feature as “conservative,” saying that it will slow down often and will not attempt turns through intersections.
To try out the feature in your own Tesla, you will need the 2020.12.6 software update. Then put your car into Park mode. Go to Controls > Autopilot > Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (Beta) and you can enable it.
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