A stunning video was posted on YouTube yesterday, reportedly showing a major accident on a highway in the Netherlands that was caught on the dashcam of a Tesla Model X. In the video, the car's "Autopilot" forward collision warning system signals trouble to the driver before the accident occurs:
The video seems to document the real-life value of a recent update to Tesla's Autopilot software.
As reported by clean energy website electrek:
"With the release of Tesla's version 8.0 software update in September, the automaker announced a new radar processing technology...One of the main features enabled by the new radar processing capacity is the ability for the system to see ahead of the car in front of you and basically track two cars ahead on the road. The radar is able to bounce underneath or around the vehicle in front of the Tesla Model S or X and see where the driver potentially can not because the leading vehicle is obstructing the view.
"In the video...we can hear the Tesla Autopilot's Forward Collision Warning sending out an alert for seemingly no reason, but a fraction of a second later we understand why when the vehicle in front of the Tesla crashes into an SUV that wasn't visible from the standpoint of the Tesla driver, but apparently it was for the Autopilot's radar."
In other words, Tesla's autopilot was able to "see" what the driver couldn't, providing a distinct advantage. In fact, the driver of the Tesla said the Autopilot began applying the brakes before he did, according to Hans Noordsij, who originally posted the video on Twitter. (Noordsij also said that everyone involved in the accident "turned out to be OK.")
Original video, authorisation from the owner. Essential, no one could predict the accident but the radar did and acted by emergency braking. pic.twitter.com/70MySRiHGR-- Hans Noordsij (@HansNoordsij) December 27, 2016
It looks like the future of driving is already here.