When you need to react quickly, nothing beats a computer’s reflexes… A Tesla driver found that out when his car automatically avoided a head-on collision with another car on a rainy night in Seattle (rainy and Seattle go together so well in a sentence…). As you can see in the dash-cam video below, this took place on Highway 99 north of the city, and while the Tesla was going about 45 miles per hour, what looks like a black sedan (could be dark green or blue, hard to tell) makes a right turn right in front of the car.
Thankfully, the Autopilot feature called Driver Assistance kicked in and the car braked automatically. A fraction of a second later and the video would probably be showing a head-on collision…
The driver described the scene: “Was travelling a little under 45 mph. There was some rain, but roads were pretty dry. I was watching stopped traffic to my right. I did not touch the brake. Car did all the work. Sadly no audio, because I had an Uber passenger and Washington has strict privacy laws about recording conversations.”
See for yourself:
Nice to see that the system does work most of the time, even if malfunctions happens, right?
The video was posted to Reddit and there’s further discussion of it in the comments here.
The driver posted some additional details:
I disagree [that I should have been driving slower]. This was on Highway 99 north of Seattle. I set it a couple mph below the speed limit of 45. Traffic tends to move around 55. It’s easy to say that in hindsigh, I should be going slower, but traffic tends not to pull out from you in that direction. I was actually watching cars to the right of me, which is the entire reason the car reacted and I didn’t. All the fault is in the other driver, and the video clearly shows this. With your reasoning, even going 25 in a 45 is too fast, because someone could pull right in front of me.
Also, I had the car set to follow cars at the maximum distance, which has ironically is about 2 to 3 vehicles in front (It’s based on speed).
He also mentions that the car alerted him to the problem with audio, which isn’t available in the video.