Obviously, Tesla is sending a message that is very clear, which is that drivers should be attentive and take charge when they take the wheels. However, all things been equal, it may appear that Tesla is working hard at fixing the problem that NHTSA is investigating ahead of any further concerns.

Just a couple of days after NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) started the investigation into their Tesla auto crashes involving emergency vehicles, Tesla quickly came up with a solution, which means their Autopilot driver assist system would be capable of sensing emergency lights from emergency vehicles like fire trucks, ambulances and police vehicles. thereby enabling the vehicle to quickly slow down, this feature is only available during night driving.

Perhaps the most interesting part about Tesla’s over-the-air updates is not only that it is capable of promptly include safety features as this to all of their vehicles, but also that it can adjust and make improvement to its vehicle features and software updates. Many of the issues raised over the past couple of months have already been dealt with through software updates. Tesla will continue in its quick response to resolving any more issues as they arise.

This updated feature was done hurriedly without much fanfare, which was only discovered by a twitter user through Analytic.eth during the vehicle’s manual review.

How the updated Tesla Autopilot works

In a situation where the Model 3/Model Y senses lights from an emergency vehicle while making use of Autosteer at night on at top speed especially on highway. Automatically, the vehicle’s speed is reduced and the display screen will show a message alerting the driver of the reduction in speed. You will also hear a clanging sound and read a reminder to keep your hands firmly on the steering. The Autopilot resumes your cruising speed once the light detector passes or ceases to display any information. On the other hand, you can hit the accelerator pedal to resume your cruising speed.


The emergency light detector was introduced just sooner than the investigation launched by NHTSA into Tesla crashes involving fire trucks and police vehicles, which presupposes that this feature may have been long planned for use in the future but its quick roll-out was occasioned by the investigation. Also worthy of mentioning is the fact that this Autopilot feature is only available during night driving.


Although some people may critic Tesla for only developing its automatic slowdown feature after the investigation, the point is that Tesla’s vehicles are only responsible for an insignificant amount of crashes involving parked emergency vehicles. (GOA) Government Accountability Officer report, has it that roughly 8,000 crash injuries were been reported to have involved parked emergency vehicle in just a year. Nine out of this figure are Tesla vehicle crash injuries in the same year. 

Areas of Improvement

Obviously most highway crashes and even traffic stops does not necessarily occur at night. Auto crashes can occur any time of the day whether day time or in the evening hours. It therefore means Tesla should consider expanding this feature to include day time driving while adding other features that could make drivers more conscious when approaching parked emergency vehicles.

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