Tesla vehicle mistakes the Moon for a yellow traffic light. What went wrong?

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jul 26, 2021, 01:56 PM(IST)

File Photo Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Wildfires in the United States have given the Moon a pale yellow tint. Many observers blame the natural satellite's mischaracterisation as a yellow traffic light on the same. 

Tesla, the futuristic maker of self-driving cars is now facing flak for an apparent glitch. Recently, a Tesla vehicle mistook the Moon for a traffic signal.

Currently, wildfires in the United States have given the Moon a pale yellow tint. Many observers blame the natural satellite's mischaracterisation as a yellow traffic light on the same. 

Tesla is famous for pushing the limits of car technology, delivering cars that are capable of navigating independently. The company also claims to have a robust series of safety measures to avoid mishaps. But every now and then, stories of these cars malfunctioning come to light.

Also read: 'Abuse of power': Tesla shareholders accuse CEO Elon Musk of rescuing his investment in SolarCity

The identification of the Moon as a traffic light is reportedly causing issues in the autopilot mode. A Tesla owner, Jordan nelson filmed the futuristic vehicle mistaking the Moon for a yellow traffic light. Due to this, the car continued to slow down.

Also read: Tesla car owner urges vehicle recall after 'spontaneous' fire

A report in AutoWeek blamed the wildfire for the misunderstanding and believes that the issue is more temporary than permanent, for Tesla's identification mechanism is not based just on its camera. It also takes into account map data from intersections, including data about traffic lights. The system is created to slow down the vehicle whenever a light is spotted.

The technology may be extremely smart. But some intersections are simply too complex or closely positioned, which could make the car's job difficult.

Carmakers who specialise in autonomous cars are attempting to refine the experience and decision making of the vehicles at intersections, especially where traffic lights are situated higher up than usual or are too close to the front of the vehicle, successfully evading the camera detection system. Only time will tell how makers like Tesla solve the crisis.

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