Tesla has made another major leap in the development of its autonomous driving system, after launching an upgrade that allows it to recognize green lights.
That might confuse you a little bit, because in the news there has been talk about how Tesla was already able to recognize traffic lights and signals; and in a later update, they were already able to stop at red lights.
However, the weak point of this implementation was the green lights. In other words, the car knew if there was a traffic light, and if it was red, to stop completely; but it was not able to do anything if the light was green.
The traffic light problem that Tesla was able to solve
As a result, the Tesla’s have so far stopped if the driver did not indicate that he wanted to go ahead at a green light.
It was a precautionary measure, in case the car was unable to recognize the light correctly; furthermore, the intrinsic danger at intersections was too high, forcing Tesla to take a ‘conservative’ route by his own admission.
Therefore, that means that the Tesla’s dare not cross intersections with the green light, and require the driver to make the decision for them. It’s not a big deal, since all the driver has to do is press the accelerator to confirm that he really wants to go ahead.
But let’s remember that Tesla intends to launch a completely autonomous system, capable of taking us from one place to another without any action on our part.
Tesla recognizes green lights
To achieve that, Tesla must be able to overcome obstacles that we normally don’t think about much, but which are very complex for an autonomous system; such as traffic signs or traffic lights.
The upgrade, which is already reaching some users, means that Tesla will now be able to go through traffic lights without us having to do anything, eliminating one more obstacle, perhaps one of the most important.
However, this function has some conditions. The Tesla will only cross the green light if there is a vehicle before us that has already crossed it; this is Tesla’s way of making sure that it is not making a mistake, which is scary, especially if the person ahead decides to go through the red light.
Nevertheless, Tesla reminds drivers that the Autopilot is not yet a fully stand-alone system, and they are still responsible for remaining alert and ready to take control if necessary, although to tell the truth, that is not a recommendation that all of their buyers follow.