Tesla unveils software update designed to let car’s camera detect speed limit signs

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Drivers will also get a sound cue for when a traffic light turns green

Tesla is touting a software update to its customers that will allow its vehicles’ Autopilot system to recognize speed limit signs using the vehicle’s cameras.

According to Electrek’s review of the software notes, a speed limit sign will pop up on the driver visualization on the dashboard when the car’s camera spots one on the road. Drivers can use these cues to set a speed limit warning. 

In April, Tesla released a software update for its newer cars that allowed the vehicles to recognize and react to stop signs and traffic lights at some intersections. Now, Elon Musk’s safety team has added yet another feature that could possibly reduce accidents at traffic lights. 

The new version of the Tesla software also gives drivers the option to be alerted by a chime when their Tesla is sitting at a stoplight and it turns green. It doesn’t actually do anything mechanical, but merely pings the driver so they know it’s safe to drive on.

Still a ways to go

This is just another step forward in Musk’s dream of making his vehicles as fully autonomous as possible. When the Tesla CEO dangled the carrot of a development version of the Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control feature back in 2018, he commented that drivers’ Teslas “will soon be able to go from your garage at home to parking at work with no driver input at all.”

But this plan for a fully autonomous vehicle has a steep hill to climb if it’s going to be available to the public by the end of 2020. There still currently needs to be a human being with their hands on the wheel who is ready to counter reported issues like unintended acceleration.

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