Tesla's Autopilot could soon detect traffic lights

A video shows a Tesla stopping autonomously at a red light.

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Sjoerd van der Wal via Getty Images
Sjoerd van der Wal via Getty Images

It looks like Tesla's Autopilot feature will soon be able to recognize traffic lights. A video shared on Twitter, shows a Tesla cruising through several green lights and slowing to a stop when it detects a red light. There is some speculation that Tesla will include the feature in its next Autopilot update.

Tesla's Autopilot can already recognize other cars on the road, and last fall, an update allowed it to spot traffic cones. If you use Navigate on Autopilot, your EV will also plan lane changes to avoid those cones. Of course, it's probably best not to put your full faith in features like these. Users and groups like Consumer Reports have raised a few red flags, and the National Transportation Safety Board went as far as to blame Autopilot's design as a contributing factor in at least one fatal Tesla crash.

Still, Tesla is pushing to have fully self-driving cars on the road soon. Elon Musk previously said they'd be ready in 2019 and that over a million robo-taxis would arrive in 2020. It's fair to say that most bets are off for 2020, but updates like the ability to stop for red lights will get us one step closer to fully autonomous vehicles.

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