Tesla released traffic cone recognition in a recent update. The new feature brings Tesla one step closer to Elon Musk’s goals of full autonomy and safe roads for everyone.
Tesla owner Michael Hsu was one of the first people to receive the update numbered 2019.36.1. Hsu shared footage of the traffic cone recognition feature on Twitter. In the video, the Model 3 seems to identify a traffic cone on the opposite corner of the street from several meters away.
Elon Musk may have referred to the new traffic cone recognition feature earlier this year during his interview with Cathie Wood and Tasha Keeney from ARK Invest. Their entire conversation was recorded for For Your Innovation, ARK Invest’s podcast. During the interview, Musk hinted that Tesla was developing inner-city driving capabilities for its full self-driving suite.
A picture of Tesla’s release notes about the traffic cone recognition feature was shared by Hsu. The all-electric automaker labeled it Driving Visualisation Improvements. It reads as follows:
“The driving visualization now displays traffic cones. In cases where a traffic cone is detected and Navigate on Autopilot is engaged (requires Full Self Driving Capability), the vehicle is designed to suggest a lane change (or attempt a lane change if REQUIRE LANE CHANGE CONFIRMATION is set to NO) to avoid cones. As always, you are responsible for your vehicle and are required to pay attention at all times.”
It will detect parking cones now! 😍 pic.twitter.com/weCLQb3HAL— Michael Hsu (@hsumacher) November 1, 2019
Based on the description, traffic cone recognition seems to be one cog in the inner-city driving capabilities Elon Musk mentioned would be included to Autopilot in his interview with ARK Invest.
The significance of the Driving Visualisation Improvements may fly right over the heads of people who don’t follow changes in the autonomous car sector, but it cannot be denied that changes and improvements are happening. The capability of recognizing traffic cones now will likely evolve to the Tesla vehicles' learning to identify other objects in the future, like stop signs or even traffic lights.
This update shows Tesla is continuously working on self-driving capabilities for its Autopilot system. Small victories now could lead to monumental achievements in the future.
Update 2019.36.1 didn’t just come with traffic cone recognition. According to Hsu, it came with smart summon, single-pedal driving, scheduled departure, a 5 percent power increase, and Automatic Navigation as well.
Cones visualized pic.twitter.com/lvo4Gu0i63— Kelvin Yang (@KelvinYang7) November 1, 2019
Musk mentioned a performance update and single-pedal driving feature during the Q3 earnings call last month. Of the two, single-pedal driving seemed to intrigue Tesla owners the most. Luckily, Hsu shared Tesla’s description of the updated feature. The all-electric car company calls it Stopping Mode, and its description reads as follows:
“Along with the previously-available CREEP and ROLL (the previous vehicle behavior if CREEP was disabled) settings, a new setting called HOLD is available as a Stopping Mode selection. When HOLD is selected, your vehicle continues to use regenerative braking after decelerating to a low speed and applies Vehicle Hold after coming to a complete stop. The HOLD setting maximized range and reduces brake wear by continuing to provide regenerative braking at speeds lower than approximately 5 mph (8km/h).”
Tesla updates are always fun for owners. Updates are proof that Tesla is a car company that always strives for growth and improvement. That may just be one of the reasons Tesla enthusiasts are so eager to see the company succeed and thrive in the future.
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Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.