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Tesla Autopilot Is Mistaking The Moon For Amber Traffic Lights And Slowing Cars Down

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Jack Dunhill

Social Media Coordinator and Staff Writer

clockJul 26 2021, 17:12 UTC
yellow moon

Is it a Moon? Is it a traffic light? Hard to tell really. Image Credit: PhotoVisions/Shutterstock.com

Technology such as self-driving cars will always begin with some wild flaws that need to be ironed out, but when the system places passengers’ lives in its new-age hands, you’d hope those flaws aren’t too bad.  

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Unfortunately for Tesla owners, the new self-driving system has come with an aberrant "feature" that is scaring owners – it keeps mistaking full moons for amber traffic lights. 

When the Moon is low, bright, and especially yellow in color, the Tesla system mistakes it for the amber light and will repeatedly attempt to slow the car down as if approaching a stoplight. Twitter user Jordan Nelson pointed out the dangerous flaw in a post directed towards Elon Musk himself.  

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The flaw is certainly less than ideal, but it is compounded by the fact that Tesla does not offer self-driving as a free technology. Instead, buyers of Tesla vehicles must pay a monthly subscription – between $99 to $199 (£72 to £144) – to access the feature. 

It likely won’t be a recurring issue, as the Moon is only the striking orange/yellow hue when it sits low in the sky, or when particulates in the atmosphere change the hue. This is the most probable cause of the color right now, as wildfires in the US result in rising smoke that could change the color of the "Buck Moon" to red. 

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[H/T: Interesting Engineering]


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Technology
  • moon,

  • cars,

  • Tesla,

  • autopilot

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