Hybrids & Electrics

Tesla’s Autopilot Update Makes Not Driving Even More Convenient

Innovation is just in Tesla’s DNA. The electric vehicle pioneer continues to change the automotive landscape with new rides and technology improvements. One of Tesla’s latest upgrades infuses fresh features into its popular Autopilot. The Tesla Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control function already makes commuting a breeze, but this latest update is going to make not driving, even more convenient than ever.

How Tesla’s Autopilot feature works

If you’re new to Tesla’s Autopilot technology, here’s how it works. The car is equipped with cameras and in-dash navigation. It’s these features that work simultaneously with the Autopilot software to then coordinate the map data to identify roadway traffic lights and stop signs on your path. The car will stop automatically if an obstacle is detected. It’s not entirely autonomous, however, and drivers can override the tech with the tap of the gear selector.

How safe is Tesla Autopilot technology?

As with any new technology or enhancement, there is the potential to also develop new risks. While the innovations are designed to make the drive easier and safer for everyone on the road, there is never a substitute for driver awareness and alert reaction. Tesla does tell its vehicle owners to be mindful of their surroundings and warns against becoming too reliant on the tech.

Based on the EV company’s Q3 update from 2019, the safety numbers from Autopilot mitigation are impressive. In fact, the data suggests Autopilot technology is nine times safer than average driving. Many critics point out that relying on software and machine-based tech can be helpful, but it can also present its own new and unique risks, rooted in failures of those enhancements. In the end, there may never really be a substitute for human oversight from behind the wheel. At least for now.

The new software update that makes driving more convenient

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The update that some consider to be a game-changing enhancement to the Tesla Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control function makes driving that much more convenient. Built into the v10.2 software update is a new feature that no longer requires the driver to push down the gear selector to surge on through an intersection with a green light, according to MotorTrend.

In other words, if the Autopilot is on, the vehicle isn’t in a turn lane, and the cars in front aren’t stopping, the car will drive through a green light. It not only recognizes red lights and stop signs, but it now will coast through green lights too with little-to-no interaction from the driver.

More upgrades are coming to make driving even simpler

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All of Tesla’s cars, including the Model 3, are designed and built with the hardware capable of completely autonomous driving. As the technology improves over time, updates can be implemented to tap into that hardware. Self-driving cars are coming. But before Tesla earns that title officially, it will continue to innovate, one feature at a time.

On deck is another update that taps into the backup camera feed and enhances the view in a broader area. There may also be a Sentry Mode in the works that begins recording and capturing images based on the user identifying a threatening event. It may also detect a near-collision event and automatically record video clips.

Tesla continues to pave the way forward toward more eco-friendly and technology-driven vehicles. The latest update may sound small in the big picture. But it demonstrates how easily Tesla can innovate and implement new features. And there may be subtle symbolism in there too. Now that Tesla cars can sense a green light, it’s clear the company as a whole keeps moving forward.