By now, many of us are already familiar with various active safety features of modern cars such as Mercedes-Benz’s Pre-Safe and Collision Prevention Assist. I too, had a personal experience of such a system at work in real world driving.
These safety systems, which have an array of sensors, radar, laser and cameras working in unison usually senses the environment immediately around your car, particularly the front. However, one Tesla driver in the Netherlands found out that the Tesla Autopilot system also looks beyond the car directly in front of him.
In the dash cam footage below, you can see that the Tesla Autopilot had “looked” beyond the car immediately in front of the Tesla and the beeping you hear indicates that the Tesla had predicted an accident will happen a couple of seconds before the actual collision. This happened with the Tesla moving at 113 km/h; at that speed and distance, you’ll need metahuman reflexes to avoid joining the pile-up.
Yes, we’ve read of several cases where the Tesla Autopilot failed to “see” obstacles / vehicles and the results were quite severe, to say the least. But autonomous driving technology is still in its early stages and as you can tell from how cellular telephones have evolved that autonomous technology can (and most likely will) get smarter.
The video below is a compilation of when the Tesla Autopilot worked. You can also see from this video that the problem is (unfortunately) very human (i.e. bad driving) and in some of these cases an accident would have occurred if not for the Autopilot’s intervention. So are you for or against autonomous driving technology?