Tesla has been promising their full self-driving features would be coming soon for years. They said it would be ready by the end of 2019 and that came and went. They say it’ll be here by the end of this year, but it’s easy to be skeptical about whether FSD will ever reach the market. But they’ve started testing some FSD features, and things are looking promising.
We’re starting to see progress
Since adding the summon feature new autopilot updates slowed down significantly. Tesla has been working on rewriting the core foundation of the autopilot systems.
We started to see the fruits of their labor back in December when they added stop signs and traffic lights to their visualization. But just telling you when you’re about to blow a stop sign wasn’t enough. They even started changing lanes to avoid traffic cones. It was clear this was the first step towards FSD.
Now that these visualizations have been out for a while Tesla has had the chance to truly test the system. It hasn’t been without issue, like this Tesla identifying a child in an orange shirt as a traffic cone.
Big updates coming soon
But it seems they’ve finally gotten the technology where it needs to be since they’re starting to test autopilot with stop light capabilities. They’ve rolled out the feature to their early access fleet, and we’ve even gotten to see a video of a Tesla stopping by itself at a stoplight.
Electrek got their hands on a leaked manual describing how the feature works. Just like how they rolled out navigate on autopilot for highways, the feature will require user input at first.
When your car is approaching a stoplight on autopilot the car will alert you of the upcoming intersection. It will show a red line where the car will stop without user input, even if the light is green. You must press down the gear lever or tap the accelerator to give the car permission to proceed through the intersection.
As Tesla is able to collect data of drivers using this feature they’ll be able to tone down the required driver interaction. Full self-driving is still fairly far off, as the current system has many limitations, like railroad crossings. Tesla is careful to be clear that this feature is still in beta, and that the driver is still ultimately responsible to avoid accidents.
Always pay attention to the roadway and be ready to take immediate action. It is the driver’s responsibility to determine whether to stop or proceed through an intersection. Never depend on Stopping at Traffic Lights and Stop Signs to determine when it is safe and/or appropriate to stop or continue through an intersection.
If you have a Tesla and are interested in this feature then now is the right time to buy the full self-driving upgrade. Previous major updates to autopilot carried a price bump. And Elon confirmed that FSD is going to go up yet again, probably in July.
FSD has been “coming soon” for years now. And to be frank, this isn’t it. There will be haters, decrying the fact that this feature has many limitations and that it’s not true full self-driving. I’m sure there will also be a flood of reports coming out of inattentive drivers letting their cars completely stop at green lights, causing accidents.
But despite the limitations, and despite the dipshits bound to misuse this feature, this technology is pretty amazing. There is literally nothing remotely like it on the market. So when I see people complain that Tesla doesn’t have true self-driving I just have to ask, who does?
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