Tesla’s Traffic Light and Stop Sign Interaction Manual Leaked

by Denis Gurskiy
Tesla Software Update V10

Tesla has continued to be hard at work on their Full Self Driving suite of features with one of the major hurdles for in city Autopilot being the recognition of stop signs and stoplights. Recent Tesla updates have shown that the automaker has implemented the beginning portions of stop sign and stop light recognition within autopilot, albeit without actually taking control of the car. It, however, looks like the system is ready to be slowly pushed out to the public as seen from a recently leaked manual describing the feature.

A few days ago Out of Spec Motoring posted a video on Twitter of their Tesla coming to a stop a red light while on Autopilot, pointing to the fact that the feature was close to being released after being in shadow mode for who knows how long.

After only a few days following the posting of the video, popular Tesla hacker green posted on Twitter a leaked copy of the manual that describes how to use the new stop sign and stop light recognition feature and its current limitations.

Tesla writes in the manual:

When Autosteer or Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is active, Stopping at Traffic Lights and Stop Signs is designed to identify stop signs and traffic lights and slow Model 3/Model Y down to a stop. This feature uses the vehicle’s forward-facing cameras, in addition to GPS data, to detect upcoming traffic lights, stop signs, and road markings.

Tesla also explains how the system will work, namely that even if the light is green, the car will look for confirmation from the driver before proceeding forward. This is similar to how Navigate on Autopilot was introduced, with the car asking for confirmation from the driver before initiating a planned lane change.

When Stopping at Traffic Lights and Stop Signs is enabled and you are using Autosteer or Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, the touchscreen displays a popup message to inform you that an upcoming traffic light, stop sign, or road marking has been detected. As it approaches the stop location, even at an intersection in which the traffic light is green, Model 3/Model Y slows down and displays a red line to indicate where the vehicle will come to a complete stop. To continue through the intersection (again, even if the traffic light is already green), you must press down on the gear lever or briefly press the accelerator pedal to give the vehicle permission to proceed. When you’ve confirmed that you want to proceed, the red stop line turn gray and Model 3/Model Y continues through the intersection and resumes your set cruising speed.

As you can imagine, the feature is still in Beta and Tesla states that the system will work well on roads heavily traveled by other Tesla drivers as that is where they have the most data. Additionally, there are some limitations that Tesla notes.

The Tesla Traffic Light and Stop Sign system is not designed to stop at:

  • Railroad crossings
  • Keep-out Zones
  • Toll booths
  • Crosswalk systems
  • Yield signs or temporary traffic lights and stop signs (such as at construction areas)
  • Miscellaneous traffic U-turn lights, bicycle, and pedestrian crossing lights, lane available lights, etc.

You can see the full leaked manual below.

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