Tesla tests Autopilot navigation for traffic lights and roundabouts

Full autonomy is still some ways off.

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AP Photo/David Zalubowski
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Tesla has teased that Navigate on Autopilot will gradually handle more and more driving responsibilities, but those aren't just fanciful long-term plans -- they're very much on the roadmap for the near future. In the midst of a public pitch for Navigate on Autopilot, Elon Musk mentioned that Tesla is currently testing "traffic lights, stop signs & roundabouts" in pre-release software. It's hard not to be a bit skeptical of Musk's claim that you'll soon travel to work with "no driver input at all," but this is promising if the very thought of entering a busy roundabout makes you nervous.

It's not certain when these features will be available. And when they do arrive, it still won't amount to full autonomy -- certainly not when Tesla recently shelved the full self-driving option for its vehicles. You'll still have to be ready to take the wheel at a moment's notice. It should make Navigate on Autopilot more viable beyond the highway, though, and it could help Tesla's technology stand out at a time when numerous rivals are introducing their own semi-autonomous features.

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