Elon Musk has stated that more handy features will be coming to Tesla Vision, the company’s onboard autopilot camera system. Tesla Vision can already detect important details while on the road, and will soon be able to spot when another vehicle’s taillights turn on.
As reported by CNET’s Roadshow (opens in new tab), Musk responded to a tweet (below) praising Tesla Vision functionality by stating that more useful features are in the works: “It will soon capture turn signals, hazards, ambulance/police lights & even hand gestures.”
Woah!!! Tesla vision is now capturing and seeing the tail lights on other cars. Watch the tail lights go from lit up red when the cars are stopped back to grey when they take off!Another great variable for calculating intent of others on the road! @elonmusk @tesla pic.twitter.com/AGAd2iWCnOJuly 11, 2021
Currently, Tesla vehicles are able to visualize features like this through a camera system as opposed to radar. In layman’s terms, a Tesla’s on-board cameras are able to pick up certain signals from other vehicles and the surrounding environment, then translate that into actionable information on the user interface.
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On the road again
It’s not clear as to when (or even whether) these updates Musk detailed will be integrated into Tesla vehicles. But as the company moves to make Tesla Vision an integral part of its autopilot system, we wouldn’t be surprised to see these features roll out over a span of years while the company continues to fine tune the tech for safe road use.
Tesla’s initial pivot away from radar to a camera-based system was met with some pushback from safety regulators, so much so that the Model 3 and Model Y vehicles’ safety awards were stripped. They were eventually restored, however, when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performed tests to show Tesla’s camera-based systems worked just as well as other systems.
Tesla could be looking to avoid more controversies with its autopilot systems by developing features like road hazards, turn signals and more. The company has stressed that human attentiveness (opens in new tab) will still be required while using the autopilot system, but the upcoming features Musk hints at could go a ways to minimizing risks by highlighting the actions of other drivers and their surroundings.
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