Tesla released their latest update to the Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta testers last week, known as V9. The new version turns off the built-in radar and relies solely on the car’s cameras to monitor the surroundings.
As part of the update, vehicles are now rendered to display which ones have their brakes engaged.
On Sunday CEO Elon Musk said it will soon be able to recognize a lot more than just brake lights, including “turn signals, hazards, ambulance/police lights & even hand gestures.”
In response to a follow-up question from Drive Tesla, Musk explained that soon after being able to recognize when police and ambulance have their emergency lights on, FSD beta will be able to react appropriately by presumably slowing down and pulling over when necessary.
He also added that not only will the car’s cameras be able to look for the emergency lights, it will also listen for sirens and alarms.
Action will follow recognition soon thereafter. Also, call will listen for sirens & alarms.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 12, 2021
Musk didn’t provide further details on how exactly the car will be able to listen for those sounds. There is the internal microphone that allows for handsfree calling and voice commands that could be used for such a purpose.
This method could also be unreliable because of competing sounds in the cabin from music and even ringtones that mimic sirens.
It is also possible to turn speakers into microphones, and as we know vehicles are now equipped with an external speaker for the Pedestrian Warning Speaker (PWS).
The ability for the car to be able to recognize such scenarios will not only be an impressive accomplishment, it will also be one that has far reaching implications that will make the roads safer for everyone.