Tesla explains Autopilot’s automatic green light response for US market

(Credit: Dirty Tesla/YouTube)

As Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite approaches Elon Musk’s “feature complete” goal, the company has rolled out an updated manual explaining how Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control’s automatic green light response works in real-world settings. An update for automatic green light response is poised to be rolled out to Tesla owners soon.

The updated manual for Traffic Light Control was posted by known Tesla hacker-enthusiast @greentheonly, who was also the one who shared the initial notes on the FSD feature back in March. Back then, Tesla’s Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control manual clearly indicated that vehicles will be slowing down when they encounter a green light, even if a leading vehicle is present. This changes with the updated manual, at least for the United States.

Following is a new section under the manual’s “How it Works” portion.

“Note: IN THE US ONLY: If Model 3/Model Y is approaching a green light and detects that a vehicle in front of you is continuing through the intersection, Model 3/Model Y will continue through the intersection without requiring your confirmation, provided you are not in a turning lane and your hands are detected on the steering wheel.”

Under the updated manual’s “Traffic Lights” section, Tesla discussed how the vehicle will respond to green lights provided that there is a car in front that is also passing through a green light. A specific section is once more dedicated to vehicles operating in the US.

“IN THE US: If you are following a car in front of you that continues through the intersection, a green stop line displays on the touchscreen and provided your hands are detected on the steering wheel, Model 3/Model Y also continues. If a car is not in front of you, a red stop line displays on the touchscreen and you must confirm that you want to continue through the intersection by pressing down on the drive stalk or briefly pressing the accelerator pedal. If you don’t confirm, Model 3 stops at the red stop line.”

Overall, it is quite interesting to see how Tesla’s Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control feature is evolving. The fact that automatic green light response is now available in the US just a couple months after the Full Self-Driving feature was initially released shows that the improvements in Autopilot are now coming at a fairly rapid rate. After all, Navigate on Autopilot, another FSD feature, took over five months before the electric car maker could introduce automatic lane changes.

A good part of this is likely due to Tesla’s fleet, which has grown significantly with the Model 3 and the ongoing ramp of the Model Y. With a larger fleet, Tesla is likely able to train its neural networks much faster with real-world data, which, in turn, allows improvements to Autopilot and FSD to be introduced at a very efficient rate.

Tesla’s manual for its updated Traffic Light Control feature could be accessed below.

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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