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Video shows us what a Tesla in Autopilot mode ‘sees’ in real time

Published Jun 18th, 2018 9:18PM EDT

Tesla over the past few years has steadily rolled out a number of enhancements and updates to its Autopilot feature that, taken together, have helped improve overall performance and reliability. And while we’re still a ways away from a Tesla driving itself from LA to New York with zero driver interaction — something Elon Musk promised would go down in 2017 — there’s no denying that Tesla’s Autopilot feature, when used as intended, can truly help reduce the incidence of accidents and deaths on the road.

With all of the hype surrounding self-driving car technologies, not to mention the accompanying controversies that inevitably ensue whenever a Tesla on Autopilot gets into an accident, it’s somewhat easy to overlook the immense amount of advanced technology that forms the foundation of self-driving automotive software.

That said, a pair of new YouTube videos from greentheonly provides us with an arguably unprecedented and somewhat stunning look at what Tesla’s Autopilot software “sees” in real-time as it drives itself to and fro. By looking at the data used by the Autopilot feature and overlaying it on top of photos and video footage, we’re able to get a clearer sense of just what exactly is happening behind the scenes when the Autopilot feature is engaged.

Though not an all-encompassing snapshot of Autopilot’s capabilities, the videos below are incredibly illustrative. Before diving in, note that the colors in the videos represent the following:

Green = a moving object

Yellow = a stopped object

Orange = a stationary object

Red = unknown

What’s more, the YouTube description notes that the size of the circles in the videos below do not represent the size of the object being tracked, but is rather an indication of how far away it is. Specifically, the closer the object is, the bigger the accompanying circle is.

Interestingly, Tesla back in 2016 posted its own video which details what its Autopilot system at the time “saw” on the open road.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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