Tesla has begun to roll out a new update for the Autopilot system for many of its vehicles. The update is called Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control. The goal of the latest update is to allow Autopilot to be able to handle intersections with the ability to come to a complete stop at traffic lights and stop signs.
The feature began rolling out to some drivers in the Tesla early access fleet last month. The early access fleet is a group of owners who Beta test software for Tesla. The feature is now coming to the wider Tesla fleet in the United States as part of the 2020.12.6 software update. The release notes for the new feature say that the Traffic Light and Sign Control Feature 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.
Tesla promises that the beta feature can slow the car for all detected traffic lights, including green, blinking yellow, and off lights. As the car approaches the intersection, it indicates the intention to slow down via a notification, slow down, and stop at the red line shown on the driving visualization. To continue from the stop sign, drivers will be required to push down the gear selector once or briefly press the accelerator pedal to confirm that it is safe to proceed.
Tesla stresses that “as with all Autopilot features,” drivers must pay attention and be ready to take immediate action, including braking, because the feature may not stop for all traffic controls. Tesla says the feature will be conservative and slow down often at first and will not attempt to turn through intersections. Enabling the feature requires the driver to shift the car and park and tap controls >Autopilot >Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control.
Tesla owners in other countries will have to wait longer to get the feature in other parts of the world. Tesla has to adapt the technology to different road markings and different types of traffic lights used outside the United States. The video above shows the feature in action.