Tesla's Autopilot will soon be able to detect turn signals, hazard lights and more

·1-min read
Tesla is continuously improving its autonomous driving system (Autopilot).

Tesla's Autopilot system will soon include new features capable of detecting turn signals, as well as hazard lights, emergency vehicle flashing lights and certain hand gestures, such as those of cyclists. The aim is to help the car react in the best way to the various emergency scenarios that could occur at any time.

These advances will be enabled by the integration of a new system, called Vision, into the automatic driving system. Thanks to all the cameras installed on the vehicle -- like a virtual neural network -- Tesla Vision analyzes the vehicle's environment in 360 degrees so that it can "see" almost everything that is happening around the vehicle.

Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, has announced that the system will soon be able to detect turn signals or even emergency vehicle flashing lights in the vicinity, so that the car can detect all current and upcoming events on the road. In this way, the autonomous car will get a little closer to truly human behavior, in terms of driving with "eyes" that are constantly on alert. This may also help avoid certain accidents, which can currently still occur in Autopilot mode.

For now, only a few (rare) US customers -- enrolled in the Autopilot program for priority access to updates -- are beginning to test this beta. As usual, these new features will be introduced through automatic remote software updates.

David Bénard