The version of Tesla Autopilot in current customer vehicles today is not supposed to handle intersections, but there’s an interesting mostly unknown behavior of Navigate on Autopilot that makes it somewhat manage intersections.
Here you can watch Tesla Autopilot reacting to a stop sign and making a right turn.
While Autopilot and its latest feature, Navigate on Autopilot, are intended to primarily be used on highways, Tesla owners have been known to try to push the driver assist system.
With Navigate on Autopilot, Tesla vehicles can automatically take exit ramps, interchanges, and on-ramps, but what happens when you take an exit ramp that doesn’t lead to another highway?
Most people simply disengage Autopilot and take over manually, but Model 3 owner Rémi Bergeron let it work and it resulted in this interesting video where we see Autopilot coming to a stop on its own at a stop sign and taking a right turn at the intersection:
In the video, we can see Navigate on Autopilot taking the exit on its own and disengaging by itself as it approaches the intersection.
While Navigate on Autopilot is off, the regular Autopilot is still working on the vehicle comes to a stop on its own.
In an email to Electrek, Bergeron explained what happened:
“The car always stops at the end of a highway exit since Navigate on Autopilot. At the stop, you just need to touch the accelerator to start Autopilot again without Navigate on Autopilot. I didn’t accelerate, you just need to touch the accelerator for less than a second and the car will do the rest at the intersection.”
Tesla recently released a video of its latest self-driving software which is able to navigate intersections, but it’s not available in Tesla’s customer vehicles today.
Yet, this is an interesting capability that many owners probably don’t know about.
I didn’t know about this and I’ve used Navigate on Autopilot quite a while.
In interchanges, I’ll let it do its thing while staying vigilant and being ready to take over, but when it would take an exit, I would always take over way before any intersection.
Autopilot seemed to handle the stop quite well.
As for the right turn, I am not sure that it actually intended to do a right turn after pressing the accelerator.
The vehicle didn’t initiate the turn signal and the right line curved so much before the stop line that the vehicle was sort of already in a position to turn right.
I think it would have been a different situation at a 4-way stop for example.
Either way, please make sure to always stay attentive and be ready to take control when using Autopilot – especially if you are trying to push it to its limits like this.
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