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Tesla's Full Self-Driving Feature Mistakes Moon For Yellow Traffic Light

That means the car will slow down because it sees the moon.

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Image for article titled Tesla's Full Self-Driving Feature Mistakes Moon For Yellow Traffic Light
Photo: Mathieu Lewis-Rolland (Getty Images)

We all know that werewolves and ocean tides are both impacted by the moon, but we can add another item to the list: Tesla’s Full Self-Driving feature, which is the company’s NHTSA Level 2 driver assistance feature.

One Tesla user recently posted a video clip on Twitter that showed his vehicle consistently mistaking the low-hanging moon for a traffic light. You can watch below:


In this clip, the moon appears to be especially yellow and low in the sky, which likely contributes to this issue. It’s not a regular issue, but it’s definitely issue enough that drivers would want it taken care of — after all, I’m sure we’ve all looked outside to see the moon looking funkier than usual.

This issue comes after Tesla has announced that any Tesla user can subscribe to Autopilot’s FSD feature for $99 to $199 per month rather than paying the full $10,000 at the time of buying the vehicle.


Tesla’s Autopilot system has faced its fair share of challenges since its introduction. It has confused road lane markings and has had trouble recognizing a fire truck is parked in a traffic lane, for example. That said, these issues are well within the realm of understanding for a new technology. Engineers can anticipate plenty of problems, but they can’t anticipate them all. As a result, most of these quirks have been sorted out.

And, to be fair to Tesla, it isn’t the only manufacturer that has struggled with correctly responding to traffic lights. Some intersections can be especially complex or have unique light patterns that relate to that specific intersection. I’ve seen my fair share of wild ones driving through Boston and Philadelphia. Some intersections have lights for a specific lane. Some feature preliminary lights before you actually approach the main light. Other lights are just positioned at weird angles, or the light is just funky, like when one is flickering or dimmer than usual.

A complex array of real-world concerns come into play here, but we’re likely to see Tesla resolve the moon situation soon.