The latest updates to the Tesla Autopilot have some of the most exciting features. Among them is the recognition of the color of traffic lights, which in the United States even allows the car to stop when the light is red.
Models equipped with this option manage to stop at this signal. But when the light turns green, they need the driver to validate the operation by pressing the accelerator lightly. Something that seems to have its days numbered.
It has been Elon Musk himself who, through his Twitter account, has confirmed that in the next Autopilot update, the system will be able to detect when the traffic light turns green. With this, the car will start running again automatically.
According to the @TeslaOwnersofMA account, this update will be released in software update 2020.24.5.1. The Update Release Notes say: “This software update contains an enhancement to our new stoplight and traffic light control feature. Your vehicle will no longer require driver confirmation to continue through green lights as long as there is a leading vehicle ahead of you and not in a turning lane. Each driver is responsible for staying alert and active when using the Autopilot and must be prepared to act.”
For Elon Musk, this will be a step forward to squeeze a potential of the hardware that still has a long way to go in terms of taking advantage of its capabilities. Something that will bring us a little closer to autonomous driving. It will open up the possibility of leaving home and getting to work with zero human intervention. A process still with limitations, but that in some circumstances can already be achieved.
An aspect that Musk himself hoped to have ready by the end of 2019, and which now awaits it in the coming months. All thanks to a solid base of his software that will allow him to continue with the work of evolution in factors such as the video identification of the environment using all eight cameras simultaneously and that will be a critical step forward in the history of Autopilot development.
The question remains whether these features, such as stopping at traffic lights or stops, will be exclusive to vehicles equipped with the “fully autonomous driving” pack. Or, on the contrary, models with the basic Autopilot will also benefit.
But it seems that Tesla is preparing for a significant leap forward after a time of stagnation. Even a few steps back, in the overall performance of a driver’s assistant, about whom there are much hope and money to discover all its possibilities.