More Intelligence built into Tesla's driving experience

by Gill D on August 30, 2020

Tesla has released a new software update, version 2020.36 with enhancements to the Green Traffic Light Chime, Autosteer Stop Sign and Stop Light Warning, Cruise Set Speed Improvements, and Speed Assist Improvements.

The update was released on 29 August and will be gradually pushed out to Tesla’s fleet.

A notable update is for the Tesla car to visually detect speed limit signs. The Speed Assist Improvements available in the USA for Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y are described in the latest release notes as:

“Speed Assist now leverages your car’s cameras to detect speed limit signs to improve the accuracy of speed limit data on local roads. Detected speed limit signs will be displayed in the driving visualization and used to set the associated Speed Limit Warning. You can adjust Speed Assist settings by tapping Controls > Autopilot > Speed Limit."

The first version of Speed Assist was done a few years ago and first implemented for the Model S. It used a camera mounted on the windshield behind the rear-view mirror, along with GPS data, to determine the local speed limit. The camera allowed the computer system to read road signs, which are compared to GPS data to determine the speed limit.

In the latest update, Tesla has also built on its Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control feature to add a new Green Traffic Light Chime for all four models and is available in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA:

“A chime will play when the traffic light you are waiting for turns green. If you are waiting behind another car, the chime will play once the car advances unless Traffic-Aware Cruise Control or Autosteer is active When Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control is activated, a chime will play when you can confirm to proceed through a green traffic light. To enable, tap Controls > Autopilot > Green traffic Light Chime.”

Tesla noted that the chime is only designed as a notification. It is the driver's responsibility to observe their environment and make decisions accordingly.

In addition, the EV auto manufacturer made some enhancements to the Cruise Set Speed available worldwide for the Model 3 and Model Y. Previously, you had to use the scrolls on the steering wheel to modify the speed or reset the Traffic-Aware Cruise Control:

“Quickly adjust the Traffic Aware Cruise Control or Autosteer set speed to the current speed by simply tapping the cluster speedometer. You can still tap the speed limit sign to adjust the set speed to the speed limit.”

The latest Autosteer Stop Sign and Stop Light Warning update is available for Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y available in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA:

"Your car may warn you in some cases if it detects that you are about to run a stop sign or stop light while Autosteer is in use. This is not a substitute for an attentive driver and will not stop the car."

The Autosteer Stop Sign and Stop Light was first rolled out as a new feature in May 2019 as part of the Autopilot function and could only then detect if a stop light was coming up. In the older software update 2019.8.3, a notification popped up for drivers that were using Autosteer. If they were driving fast enough to run a red light, the feature did not apply the car’s brakes, but rather, it provided a visual and audible signal to let the driver know that they needed to take control of the car and slow it down.

These latest software updates always seem to add more finesse to the Tesla driving experience.

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