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Teslas can now see and slow for traffic lights and stop signs

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Tesla is rolling out a software program replace to a few of its latest automobiles that can permit them to see and reply to site visitors lights and cease indicators, a characteristic that CEO Elon Musk has teased for years.

The replace is on the market solely to house owners of Tesla autos geared up with the third model of the onboard laptop that powers Autopilot, which it refers to as “{Hardware} 3.” The corporate began putting in this laptop on all new autos final 12 months (and provides upgrades to these with older autos), although house owners additionally need to have paid for the “full self-driving” model of Autopilot to make use of the brand new “Site visitors Gentle and Cease Signal Management” characteristic.

When activated, the characteristic will gradual the automotive right down to a cease for site visitors lights and cease indicators. The driving force must pull down as soon as on the Autopilot stalk or faucet the accelerator pedal to proceed by way of the intersection after that — even when the sunshine is inexperienced. Tesla reiterates within the launch notes that Autopilot nonetheless gained’t carry out turns, and says that the brand new characteristic “is not going to management for all intersections.” For instance, it won’t work at railroad crossings or pedestrian crosswalks.

Tesla additionally stresses within the software program replace launch notes that the Site visitors Gentle and Cease Signal Management characteristic is in “beta,” and that it “could also be conservative and slowdown typically at first.”

“Over time, as we be taught from the fleet, the characteristic will management extra naturally. Efficiency could also be degraded in troublesome environments with pedestrians, rain, direct daylight or when approaching site visitors controls which are obstructed,” the company writes. Subsequently, Tesla says drivers ought to pay shut consideration and “be able to take instant motion always, together with braking.”

Musk has lengthy promised that Tesla autos will at some point be capable to drive themselves in all conditions. However none of Tesla’s autos are at present able to doing that, regardless of the corporate promoting a “full self-driving” model of Autopilot. As an alternative, what house owners actually get once they pay for “full self-driving” is entry to incremental options like Site visitors Gentle and Cease Signal Management, or automated lane modifications, as they roll out, with the promise that at some point the sum of these options will equal full autonomy.

Precisely when house owners will notice that full worth is a complete guessing recreation, as are most issues with Tesla with regards to timelines. When Musk teased a development version of the Site visitors Gentle and Cease Signal Management characteristic in 2018, for instance, he mentioned: “Your Tesla will quickly be capable to go out of your storage at house to parking at work with no driver enter in any respect.”

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