Tesla CEO Elon Musk has always promoted the lifesaving potential of his company’s Autopilot system, and recently, a real-life incident proved that Mush was not wrong. A dashcam video from the Netherlands showed just how secure and powerful this new safety feature can be while driving on a busy road.
Tesla Autopilot applies brake to avoid crash
Many owners have ignored Tesla’s directions to keep their hands on the steering wheel while using Autopilot. Musk insisted that the software would be safer than human drivers, and finally, he has got some ready proof in his hand.
The video was taken in the Netherlands from the dash cam of a Tesla Model X; it shows a car crash that happened on the freeway and how Autopilot halts the vehicle quickly to avoid a crash. The most interesting part was how the electric car predicted the crash that was about to happen and how it slowed down before the collision.
— Hans Noordsij (@HansNoordsij) December 27, 2016
In the video, the Tesla car can be heard warning about a potential collision because of an unseen braking car one vehicle ahead. Tesla’s Autopilot hit the brakes right on time as the middle car zoomed forward and caused a wreck.
What helped this magic?
According to Hans Noordsij, the Twitter user who uploaded the video with the permission of the driver, no one was seriously injured in the car crash. In addition, Noordsij confirmed that the Autopilot hit the emergency brakes even before the driver was able to react and brake the car herself, notes Gizmodo.
The magic behind this lifesaving feature is the upgrade to the Autopilot system, which depends on the car’s radar and not its cameras to predict crashes. According to Electrek, the radar bounces around or underneath the car in front of the Model X or S, allowing the car to track the road ahead.
In September, Musk claimed that the software update allowed the electric cars to see through cars traveling immediately in front of them by using radar detection. However, in this case, Autopilot appears more like “straight-up clairvoyance” and less like X-ray vision, says Gizmodo.
This year, there have been two known fatal accidents allegedly involving Autopilot. In May, a driver was killed when the car failed to detect a tractor-trailer crossing in front of it. In another crash in China, a Tesla Model S driver was killed when the car collided with a road sweeper in September.
Tesla has yet to comment on the video and details shared by Noordsij.