Tesla released a software update enabling cars to automatically drive through green traffic lights, without a lead car.
The new feature called “Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control” will enable Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot to drive through green light intersections on their own, even if there is no car ahead.
Before this update, the autopilot feature could only go through green lights if the Tesla was following another vehicle through the intersection.
Like updates on your smartphone, Tesla regularly pushes over-the-air software updates with new features and improvements of existing ones.
The US-based EV company is being quite cautious in making its autopilot feature more autonomous (as it should), only rolling out new features step by step. However, if anything was to go wrong, even these small modifications might have devastating consequences.
Dubbed as the “Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (TLSSC)” update, the new feature will not require a confirmation from the driver when there is no lead vehicle ahead. Instead, it will be indicated on the screen as the car decides to pass through the intersection.
Tesla says that in some cases, the vehicle may still ask for driver confirmation, though. But as cars collect more data from the fleet, the TLSSC feature will become more natural. Better safe than sorry, right?
With that being said, it’s important to note that this feature only applies to intersections that have a clear and straight path ahead.
When the TLSSC feature was first released in the US back in June, the car would stop at all traffic lights regardless of the color, requiring confirmation from the driver each time. Tesla then updated the feature, enabling the vehicle to move through green lights without requiring confirmation from the driver only if there was a lead car. In the current update, codenamed 2020.40.1, the need for a lead car has been eliminated.
This software update can be viewed in a broader context as part of Tesla’s plans for a major “Autopilot Rewrite” due before the end of 2020.
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