Tesla Autopilot’s radar technology is brought to its finest for being able to warn the driver that an accident upfront is about to happen. The accident caught on a dash camera happened on a highway in Netherlands. The driver of the Tesla Model X was warned that a collision is about to happen, although there were no signs of it.
The automaker announced a new radar processing technology in September when the Tesla 8.9 software update was released. This technology was directly pushed via over-the-air programming to all Tesla vehicles equipped with the first generation Autopilot hardware.The best feature enabled by the brand new radar processing capacity is the ability to see what is directly in front of you and even, what is beyond that.
In practice, this would mean that the radar might have detected braking by the black SUV, even though the driver of the small red hatchback did not even touch the braking pedal.
All this has been unintentionally demonstrated in the real world situation on the Autobahn. In the video embedded below, the Tesla Autopilot’s Forward Collision Warning started beeping for seemingly no reason, but a second later the vehicle in front of the Tesla crashes into an SUV that wasn’t even visible from the standpoint of the Tesla driver. It seems is was for the Autopilot’s radar, though.
Thanks to Frank van Hoesel we’ve found a better video directly from the dashcam further down. Tesla driver from the Netherlands, Hans Noordsij, reported the video and said that everyone involved in the accident is quite OK, despite the SUV that rolled over. The fact that we can clearly hear the Forward Collision Warning alert before the lead vehicle even applied the brake is awesome.
Just think how safe you’d be if you have an Autopilot which is not only using the lead vehicle to plan the path, but also the vehicle in front of it. According to the driver of the Tesla, the Autopilot started breaking before he could slam the brakes on.
This new feature was pushed a wireless software update to all Tesla vehicles having the first generation Autopilot and it should soon be found in the vehicles having the second-generation Autopilot hardware.
While collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems are, as far as one can tell, useful safety features, they are no substitute for staying alerted and being ready to take control at any time whatsoever.
— Hans Noordsij (@HansNoordsij) December 27, 2016