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Tesla Autopilot now detects stop lines in move to handle intersections

Tesla is making some moves to change Autopilot from a highway-only driver assist system to something that can also work in city streets with intersections.

Today, we learn that Autopilot now detects stop lines.

Over the last year, we started getting a much better understanding of what Tesla’s Autopilot can see thanks to the work of Tesla hackers ‘verygreen’ and ‘DamianXVI’.

With access to Tesla’s Autopilot ECU, they have been creating rare looks at what Tesla Autopilot can see and interpret since last summer.

A few months later, They did it again with a new Tesla drive in Paris through the eyes of Autopilot and again using Tesla’s latest version of Autopilot in the new version 9 software.

They have been updating the visuals with new software updates from Tesla and in a recent one (2019.4), they found out that Autopilot can now detect stop lines:

Tesla has been presenting Autopilot has a highway driver assist system, but the automaker recently started talking about the system being useful in more complexed situations – leading to an eventual full self-driving system.

Last week, Tesla said that its vehicles equipped with the Full Self-Driving option will be able to “recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs” and “automatic driving on city streets” by the end of the year.

They are not quite there yet, but stop line detection is an important step.

According to verygreen, only the main front-facing camera is used to detect them and there’s no metric or value assigned to the lines – only “a bounding box in image space.”

They have also released some examples of the system detecting the lines at night:

Electrek’s Take

I am very impressed by the visualizations that those guys created and I’m also impressed by what Autopilot can detect.

We already knew that Tesla was there since Elon said that he was himself testing versions of the full self-driving software package that is working with intersections, but it’s interesting that it has now partly made its way into software released to customers.

Tesla might be running the capability in shadow mode to see how accurately they can detect the stop lines.

As usual, please make sure that you are always vigilant and ready to take control when using Autopilot even though it is showing increasingly impressive capabilities.

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