Official system alerts drivers to the danger of red light running.
The video above could be something of a preview of a feature coming, eventually, to Tesla Autopilot and so-called Full Self-Driving systems. In it, you’ll see a Model S recognise traffic lights and come to a stop automatically when they are red.
The car in question has been hacked by its presumed owner to add the extra capability. This is not something that other Tesla vehicles can do. The automaker did, recently, update its Autopilot-equipped fleet, giving the cars the ability to “see” traffic lights and give a warning “if it detects that you are about to run a red light.” It’s this change in the car’s software that allowed the hack to take things one step further.
The system is not perfect. As noted in the video description (added below), at the 5:12-minute mark in the footage, the driver had to intervene to keep it from proceeding into an intersection despite the red light. Still, it does seem to work in other instances, including at the beginning of the clip. As you can see in the screenshot below, a small traffic light icon with the top red slot illuminated is being displayed on the car’s screen at the same time as Autopilot is engaged (as evidenced by the steering wheel icon in blue).
Interestingly, the uploader notes that the vehicle sometimes slows on the approach to intersections when it’s unsure of the status of the traffic light. An example of this is at the 6:26-minute mark. They also claim that it will come to a halt at stop signs, though that is not demonstrated in the video.
To see how the Autopilot system warns of red light running, we’ve added a video below of it being demonstrated by an owner in his Model 3.
Ok, this is not perfect yet, but this is production firmware 19.8.3 and it does a lot of new tricks.
Obviously you cannot yet enable it in GUI, and for a good reason that I’ll list below.
It can also stop for stop signs but I cannot find a good location to video it without putting anyone in danger so that’s for another time.
nice touch – if it is unsure of current light status – it would approach the intersection carefully so it can stop gently should it actually be a red light – see at 6:26
So now the problems. it’s actually not very robust at telling red from green in some conditions, see at timestamp 4:05 how it flipflops. and then nearly runs a red light at 5:12 and I need to intervene.
Overall I am very impressed.