A few weeks ago a video leaked showing a Tesla Model 3 recognizing and stopping at traffic lights and stop signs. Now Tesla has pushed the new “Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control” beta feature to all owners in the Early Access Program (EAP).
— 🔋 TeslaOwnersofMA 🔋 (@TeslaOwnersofMA) April 16, 2020
It is important to remember that this is still a beta version of the software that will require training of the neural net to improve, much like when Navigate on Autopilot (NoA) was released in beta.
The new feature will stop at all traffic lights, regardless of what stage they are at (e.g., green, red, yellow, flashing, off). It will be up to the driver to provide input by either pulling the Autopilot stalk or briefly pressing the accelerator pedal for the vehicle to proceed through the intersection.
That override input by the driver, along with the accompanying TeslaCam footage will be used by Tesla in order to “train” the neural net to better know how to recognize and respond to traffic lights. When enough data has been gathered and the system sufficiently trained, it will be able to respond successfully on its own without driver input.
The same thing occurred with lane changes on NoA – the driver would have to provide confirmation of the lane change by activating the turn signal. This is a smart and easy way to gain mass amounts of data from real-world driving situations, something which legacy automakers are simply not able to reproduce.
Just last night Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented that this feature was the top priority for the Tesla software team. Musk has also commented previously that this feature likely won’t be coming to Canada until the third quarter of this year.
Here are the full 2020.12.5.6 release notes.
Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (Beta)
When Traffic-Aware Cruise Control or Autosteer is activated, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control is designed to identify stop signs and traffic lights and automatically slow your car to a stop. When Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control is enabled, the driving visualization displays upcoming traffic lights, stop signs or road markings at intersections. As your car approaches an intersection, even one where a traffic light is green or off, your car will slow down and stop at the red line indicated. To continue through the stop line, push down the gear selector or briefly press the accelerator pedal to confirm that it is safe to proceed. As with all Autopilot features, you must continue to pay attention and be ready to take immediate action, including braking because this feature may not stop for all traffic controls.
To enable, shift your car into PARK and tap Controls > Autopilot > Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (Beta).
Note: Before this feature can be enabled, camera calibration may be required, and the latest version of Navigation maps must be downloaded via Wi-Fi. Please refer to the Owner’s Manual for additional details about this feature.
This release contains minor improvements and bug fixes.