In the latest self-driving test, a Tesla Model 3 with hardware 3 enabled and Full Self Driving (FSD) was driven for 45 minutes during a rainy night, while in Autopilot mode. In short, this electric car was updated with all the latest self-driving software updates.
Tesla Autopilot is the best example of autonomous driving capability. There are loads of videos on this safety feature. However, YouTuber Andy Slye tested the capabilities of the Tesla Autopilot in quite a different and interesting way.
The interesting part is that from cities to highways and broader to narrow, he traveled on all types of roads, during the test. As mentioned, he also drove in the rain at night, which was another challenge in this test.
Tesla Model 3 On Autopilot Tackles Rain And Night
This video is divided into two parts: one part was shot before the global quarantine took place. The second part was shot after the latest FSD software update that includes automatic traffic light recognition and stopping abilities.
Weather and light significantly affect visibility. Therefore, it indeed was a difficult task for Tesla to optimize its Autopilot accordingly. But as we saw in the video, the Autopilot turns out to be highly efficient.
The heavy rain and night had no effect on the cameras and sensors of the Model 3. The electric car accurately identified fast and slow lanes and switched between them smoothly.
Additionally, with the latest FSD subscription, the lane change became quicker and safer.
Even the YouTuber said that he would opt for the updated FSD Autopilot mode over human driving in heavy rain as the normal human eye struggles with visibility.
Apart from these, one area where Autopilot did exceptionally well was on narrow roads. In the video, there was a short and thin belt of one-way traffic. However, the Autopilot maneuvered the car better than the driver in those narrow spots.
Things You Should Remember In Autopilot Mode
Sure, Autopilot makes your driving safe, but merely putting the car on Autopilot does not finish the job. There are things that one must always remember: the blue dot located below the indicated speed, as shown in the image, comes ON when the car is in Autopilot mode.
Autopilot mode requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel while the car moves. Removing your hands from the steering will disengage the Autopilot mode after waiting for 10-15 seconds.
On the other hand, you can also accelerate your car while the car is still in autopilot mode. However, it’s not recommended. The Autopilot disengages whenever the driver applies brakes.
Aside from these reminders, there is a small issue with Autopilot. While self-driving, these electric cars tend to move in the center of the driving lane. However, it’s a small bug, and we hope that it will be eliminated in future updates.
Improvement Due To Full Self Driving (FSD) Update
Standard Tesla electric vehicles come with traffic awareness and auto-steer functions. However, there are plenty of new features that come with the FSD subscription.
The most significant features that caught everyone’s attention are traffic lights and signal recognition which allows the Model 3 to automatically stop at red lights.
You can see a demonstration of this feature in the video. No matter what the color the traffic light was, the car automatically slowed down.
Nevertheless, it only stopped when the signal was red. Whereas during the “Green” signal, you’ll have to manually accelerate the car to get your pace back.
While some people think that Tesla Autopilot shouldn’t slow down, regardless of the traffic light, I think it’s a nice feature.
The general driving sense strongly suggests slowing down your car at the signals irrespective of the color of the traffic signal.
There are plenty of reasons that justify it. Sometimes traffic signals change frequently without time count. Furthermore, sometimes traffic can appear suddenly at a junction, so one should be prepared to stop at all times.
In the end, it’s quite remarkable the way Tesla has improved it’s autonomous driving abilities. If progress continues at the same rate, then it would not be a surprise to see the streets filled with Tesla Robotaxis.