First Look: Tesla Autopilot Slowing Down for Emergency Vehicles in 2021.24.12 Update [VIDEO]

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Tesla has rolled out its update for Autopilot to slow down for emergency vehicles, after it was revealed earlier this week the feature was coming, as stated in an updated manual for the company’s Model 3 and Model Y.

The quick pivot by Tesla to implement the software feature was due to increased media scrutiny on Autopilot, after incidents of owner vehicles crashing into emergency vehicles.

Now, we have our first look at Tesla’s Autopilot update for emergency vehicles, showing up in 2021.24.12. Reddit user u/pengellyb shared a video of “Autopilot speed limited for emergency lights”, which shows a Tesla with Autopilot enabled slowing down when flashing lights are detected.

The video makes it hard to determine if it’s a Model 3 or Model Y, but what we see is the car traveling with Autopilot enabled in a 70mph speed limit zone. The vehicle’s speed slows down to 53mph, then down to 46mph as it passes a police cruiser pulled over on the shoulder with its flashing lights turned on.

The screen shows the message, “Autopilot speed limited for emergency lights,” and below it, “Tap accelerator pedal to cancel.” Check out the video below:

With Tesla’s ability to service over-the-air software updates, the company is able to respond to concerns from owners and authorities, despite the company making some of the safest vehicles on the road today.

Tesla’s updated Model 3 and Model Y manual states the following:

If Model3/ModelY detects lights from an emergency vehicle when using Autosteer at night on a high speed road, the driving speed is automatically reduced and the touchscreen displays a message informing you of the slowdown. You will also hear a chime and see a reminder to keep your hands on the steering wheel. When the light detections pass by or cease to appear, Autopilot resumes your cruising speed. Alternatively, you may tap the accelerator to resume your cruising speed. Never depend on Autopilot features to determine the presence of emergency vehicles. Model3/ModelY may not detect lights from emergency vehicles in all situations. Keep your eyes on your driving path and always be prepared to take immediate action.

Earlier today, we saw police dash cam footage released, showing an owner in a Tesla Model 3 crashing into a Florida Highway Patrol car. When Autopilot is engaged, it is ultimately the owner’s responsibility to retain full control of the vehicle, as per Tesla’s instructions, thoughts echoed by Lt. Kim Montes, Public Affairs Officer, Florida Highway Patrol.

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