Saturday, June 13, 2020

Auto Pilot Stopping for Traffic Controls (+ Video)

On April 27th, I got the update that added Traffic Light and Stop Sign Stopping (beta). I am not sure if this feature has been rolled out of Beta, but I don't care because it is damn cool and extremely well built. I immediately went out and had to play with this new autopilot feature.

It recognizes that an upcoming stop sign or traffic light is being approached (even around corners) from what I imagine is a combination of navigation data and camera data and start slowing down the car to come to a stop.

Telsa Stopping for Traffic Control  automatically

This feature only works when full autopilot is engaged. With traffic lights, it starts to slow down even if the light is green or yellow and requires you to either tap the accelerator pedal or click on the drive stalk to continue and the car then resumes. If it is red and you tap the pedal or stalk, it checks the light again simply does the same. Pretty safe. The best part is stopping when there are no cars in front of you, right at the line.

When the light turns green or when you determine that it is safe to move from a complete stop at a stop sign it accelerates slowly first then resumes normal autopilot speed. Spo convient on stretches of highway that have traffic lights for cross roads.

To set it up...But first let's take a quick look at the release information.
Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control Release Notes

To enable the feature simply go into Driving Leaf of the Menu screen
Turning on the Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (Beta) feature

The obligatory warning is displayed next
Warning about the behavior of Beta software

Select Yes and it is turned on
Feature turned on

I went into a business complex which would be normally very busy at 4:48pm, but because of quarantine, it was completely void of human life, turned on Autopilot and simply let it drive along some curves on a road that I knew ended with a stop sign. So freaky not touching the brake pedal. I have to be honest that I had my foot hovering over the brake pedal ready to smash it.
Autopilot engaged

Approaching a stop sign around the corner...
Countdown of distance to the stop sign

Almost to stop sign, you can see my foot hovering. I cant hit the brake pedal at that would disengage Autopilot.
Car slowing down to stop, my foot hovering in anticipation

Finally I gained some confidence that the car would stop and let it do it's thing.

Look ma' no foot on the brake
Next I tried with a traffic light and yes there were cars in the intersection as Autopilot can see
First time stopping for a traffic light

Yeah it's first autonomous stop at a red traffic light.
Stopped by itself at a red light, no car ahead.

When the light turned green, autopilot indicated that on the screen and all I needed to do was tap the accelerator pedal to indicate it to go. Kind of reminds me of tapping a horse with a heel to make it start going. Yeeha, Tesla 😁!