Tesla Autopilot makes automatic lane change to avoid construction zone

(Credit: Tesla Driver/YouTube)

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite continues to improve with a recent video showing a Model 3 safely shifting away from a makeshift lane of construction cones while using Navigate on Autopilot.

Tesla owner-enthusiast Jeremy Greenlee was traveling through a highway construction zone in his Model 3. The zone contained a makeshift lane to the vehicle’s left that was made up of construction cones.

In an attempt to avoid the possibility of any collision with the cones from taking place, the vehicle utilized the driver-assist system and automatically shifted one lane to the right. This maneuver successfully removed any risk of coming into contact with the dense construction cones that were to the left of the car, which could have caused hundreds of dollars in cosmetic damage to the vehicle.

The Model 3 advised Greenlee that it would be shifting lanes by showing a message that indicated, “Changing lanes away from cones. Use turn signal to cancel.”

Although the Model 3 was operating on Autopilot and was a fair distance from the construction barriers, the vehicle made the appropriate decision to shift away from the obstacles.

Unexpected things frequently happen on highways due to high speeds of travel and other vehicles being present. Even though Greenlee’s Model 3 was not in the direct vicinity of any other vehicle, it is possible that one of the cones could have been hit by another car and could have entered the highway. Suddenly obstructing a lane on a road while vehicles are traveling at high rates of speed is extremely dangerous. However, the cones are necessary for separating traffic from the construction projects that are taking place.

Tesla has worked diligently on improving Autopilot’s performance through construction zones. In November 2019, the electric automaker’s 2019.36.1 software update started rendering traffic cones in the Driving Visualization feature. The addition of traffic cones was a focus of CEO Elon Musk, who wanted to add the construction barriers as an additional piece of information for Autopilot to consume.

Several videos of Tesla Autopilot-enabled vehicles navigating safely and impressively through construction zones have surfaced. The performance of cars that use Autopilot has continued to improve through construction areas thanks to the accumulation of data that is transported to Tesla’s Neural Network, along with software improvements that work toward the company’s release of a “feature complete” Full Self-Driving suite.

The continuing release of Autopilot improvements that Tesla gives to its fleet with each software update work toward safer driving environments for everyone on the road. While the company aims to continue making strides toward the release of its completed FSD suite, the vehicles are becoming more accurate and calculated with their recognition of objects in the road ahead.

Tesla Autopilot makes automatic lane change to avoid construction zone
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