First Insight into Tesla Autopilot Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control

Tesla is issuing strong warnings before activating the feature on the Early Access Program.
Fabienne Lang
Tesla autopilot stop lightTesletter/YouTube

Tesla released its long-awaited "Stopping at Traffic Lights and Stop Signs" feature of Autopilot on Thursday, releasing notification for its software release 2020.12.5.6 for Early Access Program (EAP) users.

This feature enables Tesla's Autopilot system to recognize and react to upcoming traffic lights and stop signs. However exciting the news may be for current EAP users, Tesla cautions about enabling the feature at this early stage.


Slow release of the feature

Tesla's release notes of the feature explain that the vehicle will stop at each traffic light, including red, orange, blinking yellow, and green lights. Drivers have to confirm the car's navigation through the traffic lights by pulling on the Autopilot gear, which is behind the steering wheel, or by pressing down on the accelerator. 

Moreover, the feature is currently unable to complete turns through intersections. The function as it stands allows the vehicle to safely navigate through traffic light intersections, something that will be useful for inner-city driving.

The newly-released feature is available for both Autosteer and Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, which are available with Tesla's current basic Autopilot offering — something that comes as standard with all Tesla vehicles except for the off-menu Model 3 Standard Range from $35,000.

Tesla's release notes of its Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (Beta) state: 

"When Traffic-Aware Cruise Control or Autosteer is activated, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control is designed to identify stop signs and traffic lights and automatically slow your car to a stop. When Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control is enabled, the driving visualization displays upcoming traffic lights, stop signs or road markings at intersections. As your car approaches an intersection, even one where a traffic light is green or off, your car will slow down and stop at the red line indicated. To continue through the stop line, push down the gear selector or briefly press the accelerator pedal to confirm that it is safe to proceed. As with all Autopilot features, you must continue to pay attention and be ready to take immediate action, including braking because this feature may not stop for all traffic controls.

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To enable, shift your car into PARK and tap Controls > Autopilot > Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (Beta).

Note: Before this feature can be enabled, camera calibration may be required, and the latest version of Navigation maps must be downloaded via Wi-Fi. Please refer to the Owner’s Manual for additional details about this feature."