Last week, a Twitter user noticed something strange while cruising in his self-driving Tesla. Jordan Nelson was on a highway in North Carolina, USA, when he noticed that his car kept slowing down after mistaking the moon for a yellow traffic light. The glitch was captured on camera and shared on Twitter by Mr Nelson, who tagged Tesla chief Elon Musk in his post. “Hey Elon Musk, you might want to have your team look into the moon tricking the autopilot system. The car thinks the moon is a yellow traffic light and wanted to keep slowing down,” he wrote.
Speaking to ViralHog, Mr Nelson said he had just purchased the subscription to full self-driving through Tesla and wanted to test the feature. Tesla recently announced that Tesla owners can subscribe to the company’s full self-driving feature for $99 or $199 per month, instead of paying a hefty $10,000 at the time of buying the vehicle.
“I went to the local 4-lane Highway to try it out and noticed the car was hesitating a little bit like it was wanting to slow down where normally it would maintain my set speed perfectly if no cars are in front of me,” he said.
“I looked up and saw that the moon was dead ahead and nearly a full moon… The moon was tricking the autopilot system into thinking it was a yellow flashing traffic signal,” he said, adding that a thick haze from the smoke caused by the wildfires on the west coast made the moon appear more yellowish than usual.
Footage of the car slowing down after confusing the celestial body for a traffic light has gone viral on Twitter, racking up over a million views in the four days since it was shared online.