It’s basically Safe Driving 101.
As we were taught in high-school driver’s-ed classes, you don’t simply watch the car in front of you. You anticipate what’s happening by watching for brake lights two, three and four cars ahead of you.
Well, Tesla’s spanking-new radar technology has apparently taken the safe-driving lesson to heart. And the evidence is startling: Check out the video of a developing accident on a Dutch roadway that was recently captured on the dashcam of a Tesla Model X. The camera captured it BEFORE the Tesla driver even knew it was coming. How? The Tesla’s Autopilot’s forward collision warning system was able to see the car in front of the car in front of the Tesla
In the video embedded here, 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 to the Tesla driver, but apparently was fto the Autopilot’s radar. Autopilot then started braking before the driver could apply the brakes himself.
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Hans Noordsij, a Tesla driver from the Netherlands who obtained the video from the driver involved in the near-miss, said that everyone involved in the accident “turned out to be OK” despite the fact that the SUV rolled over.
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There had been some early concerns about Tesla’s Autopilot but things seem to have improved with the release of the company’s version 8.0 software update. In September, the automaker announced a new radar processing technology that was directly pushed over-the-air to all its vehicles equipped with the first generation Autopilot hardware.
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 cannot because the leading vehicle is obstructing the view.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk was clearly excited about the news, retweeting the video of the accident.