A series of videos from the Tesla community has provided a first look at how the electric car maker’s new Autosteer Stop Light Warning feature works in real-world settings. The safety feature is being rolled out by the electric car maker with 2019.8.3 and is available for customers who have purchased Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist feature.
Tesla’s Autosteer Stop Light Warning provides an audible and visual warning that alerts drivers to take over the vehicle if a red light is detected. While these warnings are very noticeable, some instances recorded by the Tesla owners showed the safety feature not activating despite their electric cars approaching a stop light. This is understandable considering that Stop Light Warning is a very new feature, and it is all but certain that the capability will only improve as Tesla rolls out more over-the-air updates.
It should be pointed out that Tesla lists Stop Light Warning under Autosteer, which is currently listed under the company’s $3,000 basic Autopilot package. This means that even owners who do not purchase Tesla’s $5,000 Full Self-Driving suite will be able to take advantage of the Stop Light Warning capability, highlighting the company’s tendency to introduce safety systems to its vehicles proactively. This is notable since the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has noted that injuries attributed to red light running have affected over 137,000 people in recent years.
Much like other features like Navigate on Autopilot, Tesla asserted in its recent release notes that Autosteer Stop Light Warning is not intended to replace a fully-attentive driver. Instead, it is only designed to make the driving experience easier. “Your car may warn you in some cases if it detects that you are about to run a red light while Autosteer is in use. This is not a substitute for an attentive driver and will not stop the car,” Tesla wrote.
As Tesla works to develop its Full Self-Driving suite, abilities such as Autosteer’s Stop Light Warning are only bound to get better. With the apparent rollout of Hardware 3, a custom solution specifically designed to make full self-driving possible, the idea of Tesla’s electric cars stopping on their own when approaching a red light is not too farfetched.
This was hinted at by Elon Musk in a tweet last December, when he noted that Tesla is “already testing traffic lights, stop signs, and roundabouts in development software.” In his tweet, Musk added that with such features in place, the time would soon come when Teslas can “go from your garage at home to parking at work with no driver input at all.” For now, the company continues to introduce new driver-assist features that will form part of its Full Self-Driving suite, such as no-confirmation Navigate on Autopilot and Enhanced Summon, which are already being tested to the first batch of Tesla owners today.
Watch Autosteer Stop Light Warning in action in the videos below.