A Tesla Model 3 owner has demonstrated the vehicle’s Autopilot system adapt to a busy construction zone with no lane markings.
YouTuber and Tesla enthusiast Cf Tesla took his Model 3 out while chronicling a ride for his “Rate this Drive” series. When approaching a section of the road currently under construction, Cf Tesla was curious to see if the Model 3 would steer away from the numerous barriers set up by crews working on the site. The vehicle recognized a series of cones according to the dash’s Driving Visualization feature and alerted the driver of the oncoming lane shift.
Cf Tesla noted he did not initially recognize the Model 3 shifting away from the construction barriers, but soon realized that the vehicle began maneuvering through a makeshift lane that was flanked by onstruction cones on both sides.
“It’s rerouting itself because of the cones. The road did not just go there…This is not the normal road that we drive on, guys. This is something entirely new and it is figuring it out right now on its own. There’s no lines, it’s using the cones as the “sideline” for this road,” Cf Tesla said.
In October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the Driving Visualization feature on a vehicle’s dash screen would soon begin to recognize and render traffic cones as an extra safety precaution. The addition of traffic cones and barriers would increase driver awareness by illustrating the barriers that are present on the road on the screen of the car. This is an especially helpful feature at night when visibility is limited to only reflective tape on the cones. This feature was introduced in early November upon the release of Software Update 2019.36.1.
Perhaps the vehicle also recognized that it was traveling within a construction zone due to the multiple cones it rendered on the screen. As a result of this, Cf Tesla was unable to adjust the speed of his vehicle by using the right scroll wheel. This feature is beneficial to pedestrians and workers inside a construction zone. The speed limit inside a construction zone varies from state to state, but the car seemed to recognize that 25 MPH was the maximum speed in the area he was traveling.
Tesla’s Full Self Driving suite was designed to make traveling in a car safer for everyone. Judging upon what took place in this video, it is safe to say the software’s continuous improvements are increasing the reliability and safety of the Full Self Driving capability available to Tesla owners. Including the recognition of construction cones as lane barriers and taking away the freedom to go above the speed limit within a road work zone increases safety for drivers, pedestrians, and workers alike.
You can watch Cf Tesla’s video of his Model 3 recognizing a construction zone and adapting to lane shifts below.