Is Tesla's Autopilot Ceding the Right of Way to Other Cars?

A video posted to Reddit appears to show a Tesla vehicle braking in order to give the right of way to another car signalling a lane change.
John Loeffler

Tesla autopilot has been giving lane changers the right of way, if a video posted by a Tesla driver is to be believed.

Tesla’s Autopilot Giving Right of Way to Lane Changers?

According to drivers on the popular /r/TeslaMotors subreddit, drivers have been reporting that their Tesla Autopilot systems were ceding the right of way to vehicles that signal their intention to change lanes in front of them. Now, user privaterbok has posted what appears to be video evidence of a Tesla doing exactly that.

A video proof AP now give right of the way to cars with merging signals after 2019.5.15 from /r/teslamotors

In the video, a Gray Mercedes is changing lanes from two lanes over, remains in the lane next to the Tesla while continuing to signal its intention to move into the lane in front of the Tesla. At that point, the Mercedes shows up in the updated Autopilot display in a light gray silhouette but then turns a darker gray just before the Tesla begins to apply the brakes, slowing the Tesla down in order to give the driver of the Mercedes room to execute the lane change safely.


This seems to be almost ironclad confirmation that Tesla's Autopilot is capable of the maneuver, even though Tesla itself has not commented on the feature when asked by press outlets and the feature is not listed yet in the Tesla Autopilot system documentation, so the video could be a evidence of a feature that Tesla is working to implement in a future update.

If so, drivers appear to have not been aware of this change, and in some cases, drivers have reported that the system has applied emergency braking in somewhat unpredictable ways for reasons that the drivers themselves could not explain, and some have even been forced to turn the Autopilot system off.

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Tesla Has Added New Red Light Warning in Latest Autopilot Update

As reported by Engadget and Electrek, Tesla has already rolled out a new feature for the Autopilot system that will warn you, but not automatically brake, if it detects that the car is about to run a red light.

This feature will be implemented in any Tesla purchased in October 2016 or later that opted for either its Autopilot system or its Full Self-Driving Package as soon as it updates to the latest firmware.

This system isn’t 100% reliable though, so drivers still need to be mindful of traffic lights. Tesla has repeatedly stressed to drivers that the Autopilot and Full Self-Driving options are not fully self-driving yet and should not be relied on to actually do the work of driving.

That is still the drivers job, even though some have not heeded those warnings from the company.

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