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Tesla starts to enable cars to automatically drive through green lights

Tesla has started pushing a new software update to enable cars to automatically drive through a green light under the new “Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control” feature.

Earlier this year, Tesla has started to push an Autopilot update with the ability to detect and stop at traffic lights and stop signs.

The new feature is called “Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control.”

It’s the first time Tesla released a significant feature to handle intersections and it has been especially careful about the rollout of the new feature — admitting that the feature will be “conservative” at first and requiring drivers to confirm when the Autopilot can actually cross an intersection.

While the vehicle will automatically stop at a red light or stop sign, it wouldn’t go through an intersection when the light is green. It required drivers to press the stalk or the accelerator as a confirmation for the vehicle to proceed.

The rollout has been similar to Autopilot’s automatic lane change feature, which at first needed driver confirmation to perform the lane change, but it was later made completely autonomous after Tesla gathered data from the fleet and improved the feature.

Now Tesla is doing the same for the new “Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control” feature.

Tesla has started releasing an update to the feature in its early access program to no longer require driver confirmation to go through a green light.

They wrote to early access drivers:

This software update contains improvements to our new Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control feature. Your vehicle will no longer require driver confirmation to continue through green lights while there is a lead vehicle ahead of you and not in a turn lane. Every driver is responsible for remaining alert and active when using Autopilot and must be prepared to take action at any time.

As you can see, there are still some limitations to the feature.

It still cannot perform a turn nor continue on its own after stopping at a stop sign, but it can now autonomously handle an intersection with a traffic light if you are going straight and there’s another car in front of you.

The updated feature is currently only in the early access fleet, but it’s expected to be pushed to the broader fleet in the coming days or weeks.

Electrek’s Take

Nice to see some progress here, but to be fair, Tesla Autopilot was kind of already able to do that with Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) before this new feature.

The car would come to a stop because the lead car in front of you would stop at a red light, and once it turns green, TACC would just start driving again.

But now with this new feature, it would actually be aware that it is going through an intersection and driving through a green light.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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