Tesla Autopilot avoids traffic cones, recognizes makeshift lane with no confirmation

(Credit: Tesla Driver/YouTube)

A Tesla Model X owner’s road trip through Carlisle in the UK recently demonstrated some of Navigate on Autopilot’s impressive capabilities, with the all-electric SUV seamlessly handling a section of the highway that was under construction, traffic cones and makeshift lanes included.   

The video of the feat was shared online by Tesla Model X owner and Model 3 reservation holder Tesla Driver, who runs a popular UK-based YouTube channel. During the video, which involved tests of Tesla’s driver-assist feature and its Navigate on Autopilot system through the Carlisle area in West England, the Model X encountered a section of the road that was populated with multiple traffic cones that formed a makeshift lane.

Much to the surprise of the Model X owner, Navigate on Autopilot was able to detect the traffic cones, recognize the space between them, and recognize the area as a lane instead of the actual painted lines on the road. While the Model X driver opted to take control of the vehicle soon after, the fact that Navigate on Autopilot recognized and reacted to the makeshift lane from the traffic cones was notable. 

This is especially impressive considering that not all of Navigate on Autopilot’s full capabilities are available in the UK. Tesla owner and resident hacker GreenTheOnly, for one, noted last May that a number of Autopilot’s functionalities, such as Autosteer, Summon, and automatic lane changes, are adjusted to conform to the region’s regulations. 

Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot is arguably the electric car maker’s most advanced driver-assist feature available today. Capable of performing automatic lane changes as well as on-ramp to off-ramp maneuvers, Navigate on Autopilot is a key stepping stone for Tesla in its efforts to achieve autonomous driving capabilities. This appears to be Tesla’s intention with the feature, considering that the company moved Navigate on Autopilot to its Full Self-Driving suite late February. Prior to the move, the feature was simply part of Enhanced Autopilot. 

The improvements to Navigate on Autopilot have so far been notable, particularly in the United States, where the feature is not operating with the same restrictions as vehicles in the UK. Last June, for example, a Model 3 owner from Goshen, IN encountered a long stretch of highway that was under construction, and despite the entire section of the road having no lane lines and one side of the road being populated by traffic barrels, Navigate on Autopilot was able to handle the area without any issues. Even more recently, a video shared by another Tesla owner showed his Model 3 performing multiple smooth lane-changing maneuvers in a highway, in what could almost be described as a “waltz” of sorts. 

Watch Tesla Driver’s Navigate on Autopilot experience in the video below. 

Tesla Autopilot avoids traffic cones, recognizes makeshift lane with no confirmation
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