Tesla’s Full-Self Driving (FSD) software can now stop for traffic lights and stop signs, a new video posted by electric vehicle reviewers Out of Spec Motoring has revealed.
The first video demonstration of the new FSD feature in a Model 3 was captured by Kyle Connor, reviewer for the InsideEVs channel, and posted on Friday morning on Twitter (Australian time).
The exclusive demonstration shows the Model 3 EV detecting a set of red traffic lights, and stopping automatically, according to Connor.
“It also stops for stop signs,” Connor said in a follow up post, adding that to tell the car to continue once stationary at a stop sign, one simply needs to tap the accelerator or gear stick.
— Out of Spec Motoring (@Out_of_Spec) March 26, 2020
The new feature is one of a series needed to make Full Self-Driving a reality.
As covered previously by The Driven, full-featured FSD consists of three main capabilities: low speed navigation of car parks, medium speed navigation of streets including taking corners, detecting traffic lights, stop signs, pedestrian crossings and roundabouts, and high speed navigation of highways including lane changing and exit/entry ramps.
The latter, known as Navigate on Autopilot (NoA) has been around the longest, and was introduced into Australia in December 2019, not long after the introduction of the low-speed car park feature known as Smart Summon.
Both are only available to those who have purchased the Full Self-Driving add-on with their Tesla vehicles.
Medium speed detection of common road obstacles and taking curves and corners safely is the final piece in the puzzle. Then, of course, it needs to be made perfect, or as near as possible, if FSD and Elon Musk’s vision of robo-taxis is to get waved through by regulators.
It is not known how soon the newest feature will be made available. InsideEVs did not reveal how access to a test drive in the vehicle demonstrating the automatic stopping feature was made possible.
It does, however, show that Tesla is making progress.
At the company’s first quarter earnings call in 2019, Musk revealed his plan to create a fleet of “robo taxis” using full featured Full Self-Driving technology.
At the time, Musk estimated that FSD would be feature-complete by the end of 2019, and available by April 2020, saying, “A year from now we will have over a million cars with full self driving computer, hardware, everything.”
The final step of FSD however is particularly complex, and a great deal of work is being put into making sure the foundational software holds up, says Musk.
At the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in 2019, Musk said, “We are only beginning to take full advantage of the Autopilot hardware. The apparent progress as seen by consumers will seem rapid but actually what is really going on is having the foundational software be very strong.”
In February, Musk sought to accelerate the development of self-driving tech, inviting developers to apply to join the Tesla Autopilot team in a “hack-a-thon” – the fruits of which it appears are now becoming reality.
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Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.