Tesla has added a new safety feature to its cars this week, and it was all done for free through an over-the-air (OTA) software update, and without the need for a service visit.
Nearly one year ago to the day we told you about Tesla signing a new partnership with an organization called Emergency Safety Solutions to add Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol (H.E.L.P.) to its vehicles. The agreement was the first of its kind, with the company’s technology helping to prevent crashes into vehicles that are disabled on the roadway.
According to Emergency Safety Solutions, the H.E.L.P. technology works in two ways. The first is to make the turn signals flash faster when your hazards are enabled, something which has been proven to better catch the attention of oncoming motorists. The second is that the system also sends digital notifications to oncoming drivers through their onboard or mobile device’s navigation to warn them of an upcoming disabled vehicle on the side of the road.
A year later and Tesla has started deploying this feature to its cars, at least the first part of it. In a post on X, Tesla says the hazard lights on all Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, and 2020 and newer Model S and Model X vehicles will now automatically turn on when an airbag is deployed, and flash faster. According to the post, the feature is only available in the US.
If an airbag is deployed, hazard lights will automatically activate & flash faster to improve visibility
Update now rolling out to all US Model 3 & Y as well as S & X (2020 & newer) pic.twitter.com/TadrwKTmtB
— Tesla North America (@tesla_na) October 3, 2023
The post makes no mention of the second half of the H.E.L.P. technology, so we can only assume this part hasn’t been developed yet, and may come in a future software update.
This is just the latest example of Tesla using technology to make its cars safer through OTA software updates. In 2020 Tesla added Dynamic Brake Lights where if you forcefully press the brake pedal, your brake lights flash rapidly. The company has also made improvements to Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) to also work when in reverse, as well as adding Lane Departure Avoidance and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance in 2019.