Tesla’s 2020.12.5.6 over-the-air (OTA) update will improve Autopilot’s traffic light recognition capability. The upcoming update is a strong indication of Tesla’s progress towards autonomous vehicles.
Tesla owners and engineer @MikeLary88 shared information and release notes for the upgraded traffic light recognition capability coming in the company’s 2020.12.5.6 OTA update. He received early access to the update, which hints that the Autopilot update may be coming soon.
According to the official release notes, Tesla named the feature the company’s new Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (BETA). A previous Tesmanian article revealed that Tesla Autopilot would enable vehicles to recognize red light and STOP signs and stop automatically.
According to @MikeLary88's tweet, the feature doesn’t just apply to red lights but includes all traffic light signals. Based on the release notes, the new feature could teach Tesla Autopilot to read colors and understand how they apply to traffic lights.
“This feature will stop at all traffic lights, including green, blinking yellow, and off lights. To proceed through the intersection, pull the Autopilot stalk or briefly press the accelerator pedal to confirm that it is safe to proceed,” the release notes said.
By having Teslas stop at all traffic lights, the company will be giving the cars’ cameras more time to gather information and read the reactions of drivers to them. The release notes also stated that Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (BETA) would default on OFF. To enable the feature, owners must go to the Autopilot section of the controls page.
Besides traffic light and stop sign recognition, Tesla’s upcoming update may also introduce a Dashcam Viewer feature, which allows drivers to access all the video clips gathered by their cars' eight cameras while on route and during Sentry mode. Drivers will be able to get a 360-degree view of their car as well.
Functionality still looking good for this year. Regulatory approval is the big unknown.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 12, 2020
Based on a former Tesla engineer’s interview with Third Row Podcast, the Dashcam Viewer and traffic light/stop sign feature may be the result of the company’s Autopilot rewrite. Tesla engineers may have discovered new ways to use the car’s technology to benefit Autopilot and the progress towards a feature-complete FSD.
Just recently, Elon Musk seemed optimistic about Tesla’s progress. He seemed confident that Tesla’s Robotaxi fleet would be functional by the end of 2020 on Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: @MikeLary88/Twitter
About the Author
Ma. Claribelle Deveza
Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.