While we’re not quite there yet, Tesla’s Autopilot features may very well embody the future of vehicle transport. Released in 2015 for the Model S, Tesla’s Autopilot hardware is comprised of a vast array of advanced sensors and cameras that, working in unison, can successfully steer a car “down the highway, change lanes, and adjust speed in response to traffic.”
Of course, autonomous driving isn’t just about convenience, it’s also about safety. Indeed, one of the more important aspects of Autopilot is its automatic emergency steering and side collision warning feature. In other words, a Tesla equipped with Autopilot hardware can detect an impending side collision and automatically adjust accordingly to avoid it.
Recently, a video showcasing this feature in action has been making the rounds. Filmed a few days ago, the video below depicts a Model S automatically swerving to the right, ever so slightly, as to avoid a truck abruptly merging into the same lane without warning.
The full video description reads:
Tesla Model S autopilot saved the car autonomously from a side collision from a boom lift truck. I was driving down the interstate and you can see the boom lift truck in question on the left side of the screen on a joining interstate road. Once the roads merged, the truck tried to get to the exit ramp on the right and never saw my Tesla. I actually wasn’t watching that direction and Tessy (the name of my car) was on duty with autopilot engaged. I became aware of the danger when Tessy alerted me with the “immediately take over” warning chime and the car swerving to the right to avoid the side collision.
You can see where I took over when there’s a little bit of blip in the steering. Tessy had already moved to the right to avoid the collision. I was not able to slow down even more due to the heavy traffic (cars were behind me). Once I got behind him I slowly added more room between us until he exited. I was not tail gating after the incident.
It was a mistake on the other driver’s part. He did not even know I was there until I honked my horn. There was a group of women in the black sedan to my left and they went nuts about the guy and what he did (all kinds of gesturing in their car). Once I was beside the truck as it slowed down on the ramp, the guy gestured a “sorry!” I gave him, “it’s okay” wave.
Tessy did great. I have done a lot of testing with the sensors in the car and the software capabilities. I have always been impressed with the car, but I had not tested the car’s side collision avoidance. I am VERY impressed. Excellent job Elon!
Another video of Tesla’s side collision avoidance feature in action can be seen below.