The following The Truth About Cars post skeptically outlines the most recent Tesla update to the automatic-braking portion of its self-driving feature.
FREMONT, Calif. – While we’ve often criticized Tesla Motors’ “Full Self Driving” (FSD) suite for being a $7,000 promise that failed to deliver, the automaker is making moves that might someday force us to eat our words.
Tesla is now releasing a new software update that includes the ability to automatically recognize and slow down for stop signs and traffic lights. CEO Elon Musk mentioned the development in Wednesday’s earnings call, referencing the system as “Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control” that builds on display options added months prior.
“Regarding Autopilot, we released a new software update for traffic lights and stop signs to early access users in March and to all U.S. customers with full self-driving package just last week. Our cars will now automatically stop at each stop sign or traffic light until the driver gets a confirmation to proceed,” Musk said. “I should say that the car is actually capable of much more than this, but we are only exposing functionality that we feel quite good about and where we feel it’s probably a safety improvement.”
While he did not expand on those other features, they’re likely related to the often criticized but highly ambitious FSD suite. However, the updates discussed are still being refined. Now that manufacturers can issue over-the-air updates to connected vehicles, they can make changes on the fly — adding or pulling features without the driver’s knowledge. While this opens up new doors for auto brands, we’ve seen Tesla make moves that leave us questioning whether or not cars are evolving in a manner that truly benefits consumers. The company has been caught removing content from vehicles on the secondhand market; for years, it’s been barked at for beta testing new features on existing customers.
It sounds like Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control also falls into the latter camp. However, it’s allowing the manufacturer to keep its promises, so you can’t knock it entirely. Adding content to a vehicle years after it was purchased is still kind of magical… at least conceptually.
The entire post can be viewed by clicking HERE.