Hybrids & Electrics

Tesla’s Autopilot Technology Just Took Another Leap Forward

Tesla continues to innovate and design technologies that change the way our vehicles work. From popular electric vehicle models to space exploration, Elon Musk is revolutionizing across a variety of industry segments. The company seeks out and employs some of the brightest minds in engineering, and the mission is to develop new technologies beyond what currently exists.

It appears Tesla may have done it again. More recently, a video clip surfaced, demonstrating one of the coolest autopilot features in action. And it may be just another page in the Tesla playbook of leaping forward in technological advancement.

The video clip that got everyone excited

There was a Twitter video posted by an unofficial source from inside a Tesla Model 3. In this clip, the car demonstrates an autonomous capability of traffic light recognition – it stops itself at a red light. The original post shares this feature also has the ability to recognize stop signs as well. Imagine the possibility of a vehicle stopping at all red lights and signs on its own.

Tesla’s beta testing this latest autopilot feature

While the original clip came from a Tesla Model 3 owner – unofficial to the Tesla company – many suggest the autonomous tech is part of a beta testing program. Tesla may have rolled out an early access program in which select vehicle owners are allowed to test new features.

It is believed the Model 3 in question has the FSD (Full Self-Driving) Package that’s available for $7,000 and that allows such early access to upgrades. The video shows the tech may not be ready for mass implantation yet anyway. It keeps signaling to the driver that it’s “stopping for traffic control” when approaching green lights.

Are we ready for fully autonomous cars?

While autonomous features are well within launch over the next few months and years, we’re not quite ready for full autonomy just yet. These technologies are designed to augment a physical response from a driver, not replace the human behind the wheel altogether. Even those autonomous shuttles require a human supervisor at the helm should the tech fail or malfunction.

The legislature isn’t quite there yet either in terms of carving out safety guidelines for fully autonomous cars. It may be a while – a few years even – before we reach The Jetsons-level tech. For now, the supplemental autonomous innovations may just be an extension of existing driver assistance platforms. But there’s plenty to get excited about.

Tesla’s plans for upcoming updates

There may be official updates coming for the autopilot function. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, retweeted another account that mentioned an autopilot update coming. But, there still isn’t an official Tesla announcement to support the statement. Car and Driver reached out to confirm plans for such an update but have not heard back.

Tesla typically rolls out tech upgrades via an over-the-air channel that allows the various models’ driver assistance systems to respond. The company produces all of its models with the hardware capability to accommodate such tech updates. As driver aids are becoming more common with many automaker brands and model vehicles, even upgrades that include autonomous function is a huge, futuristic stride.

We may not be quite ready for fully autonomous cars yet, but Tesla has proven that we’re getting closer. This video demonstrates that the company has taken a giant leap forward in self-driving technology, in potentially creating a feature that allows cars to recognize traffic signals and stop signs. There’s no official news or statement about when it will be available on all or any other Tesla models, but consumers are excited to see where these innovations will take us and our cars.