One of the bet things about Tesla vehicles, aside from how they’re always improving, is the community members who know a lot about computers. It may sound silly to some, but there are legit hackers in the Tesla community, who open up the code of their cars and find secret hints at the improvements coming down the pipeline.
That’s what @greentheonly, a Tesla Hacker who uploads his findings to Twitter, did this week. He was digging around in his car’s code, and found little 3D icons of traffic signs. That may not seem too wild to the uninitiated, but Green was able to put together what this meant.
Coming soon to a Tesla near you:
Speed limit recognition worldwide (with 3d rendered signs) and roundabout support. pic.twitter.com/wganSpLs5O
— green (@greentheonly) June 12, 2020
Basically, Teslas are about to start being able to tell the speed limit, not just from GPS data, but also from the visuals of the signs they pass while driving. This will allow for greater accuracy, and mean a larger responsibility for the visual narrow-AI of Tesla’s Autopilot.
Adding these visuals to to the system means that soon enough, Teslas will be able to act on them, not just observe their presence. The system already does this with stop signs, lights, and other vehicles, speed signs are just the next step.
2020.20.13 just hit with "Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (Beta)" activated for Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
— green (@greentheonly) June 11, 2020
As Tesla rolls out more features to Autopilot in more territories, the different kinds of roads and regulations are what’s holding them back. Hours before noticing this inclusion, Green tweeted about how Tesla has rolled out “Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control” to more countries.
Another thing he discovered was the icon for roundabouts, which are one of the most feared traffic situations for humans. As they’re only present in certain regions, cars will have to be tested to work with them in those areas before it is rolled out.
Of course, as with any Autopilot change, people will have to get adjusted to their cars navigating these situations. For roundabouts, that may take longer than usual.