A Dutch family was returning home from Belgium when they ran into some trouble. Two SUVs in front of the family’s car crashed together, and it appeared that their car might get swept up in the crash. However, this family was riding in a Tesla Model X—equipped with an autonomous driving system that has proven both good and bad.
Did the Fatal Autopilot Crash Hurt Tesla’s Autonomous Vehicle Efforts?
The Dutch family was amazed when their vehicle began to slow on its own. According to the driver, he had the SUV in autopilot mode when he saw the crash ahead unfold. He moved to push the brakes only to find that the Model X had already done it for him.
The footage from the family’s dash cam also reveals that the car bleeped a warning before the two SUV’s ahead of them wrecked. That means the car actually predicted the incident before it unfolded, which maximized the vehicle operator’s response time.
Telsa has yet to comment on this incident, but it also says that it’s cars have this capability. The company has a radar system on all of its vehicles that allow the autopilot system to see beyond just the cars in front of it. Plus, all of Tesla’s latest models are equipped with these sensors and more tools that will allow this latest generation of Tesla vehicles to run completely autonomously—though the company is still working on the software.
This update seems like a far cry from the tech in the car that took the life of a 40-year-old Tesla Model S driver. The car was in semi-autonomous mode when the man and the vehicle failed to notice a tractor-trailer taking a left-hand turn. The resulting crash had advocates all over the country questioning the safety of autonomous drive features. However, that hasn’t stopped the company from pushing forward.
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