Tesla starts Hardware 3 rollout: Enhanced Summon, red-light warnings

Tesla Model 3 Enhanced Summon video still [by YouTuber  Nagaraj Kelageri]

Tesla Model 3 Enhanced Summon video still [by YouTuber Nagaraj Kelageri]

Like Teslas rolling through parking lots on their own, the self-driving future is inching closer.

This week, Tesla owners began to experience new features of the company’s long-promised next update to its self-driving system, including Enhanced Summon, which is one of the first features of Tesla’s planned Full Self-Driving capability to be enabled. The new features also include warning drivers about upcoming red lights, and yielding to other cars signaling a merge into the lane ahead, as Teslas Navigate on Autopilot highway.

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All of these are features that Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last fall as part of the company’s next “Version 3” Autopilot hardware and Version 9 software (now rolled into an update of Version 8.)

Tesla rolls out upgrades to customers cars gradually, so not all cars have the new capabilities yet.

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Long Range Tesla Model 3 driver IV-Crush posted images on Reddit over the weekend showing a new red-light warning on his car’s screen. If the car is approaching a red light with Autopilot engaged, it will warn the driver of the problem in the dashboard screen. An update message from Tesla in the car’s center screen notes that the warning will not attempt to stop the car. Autopilot is not the same as Full Self-Driving and does not yet have the capability to stop for red lights.

Tesla Model 3 Autopilot stoplight warning

Tesla Model 3 Autopilot stoplight warning

A second video posted to Reddit by user privaterbok shows a Tesla Model 3 driven on Autopilot being polite by braking to let another car merge into the lane ahead of it, when the other car is signaling a lane change.

And several videos on YouTube show the first Tesla owners summoning their cars with their cell phones to come to them autonomously in parking lots—provided it’s in the same parking lot—as Musk has been promising since 2014. The feature, called Enhanced Summon, is the first feature to be enabled as part of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Capability (following Navigate on Autopilot, which was first released as part of the Enhanced Autopilot system and has now been moved into the Full Self-Driving option.)