The new radar technology introduced to Tesla’s Autopilot has been widely appreciated at all levels. It attracted global attention when a video was shared showing how the radar predicts an accident just seconds before it actually took place.
The accident was detected on the dashcam of a Tesla Model X in Netherlands alerting the driver through a forward collision warning. Hans Noordsij, the Tesla driver who shared the video, reported that everyone in the accident remained safe, though the SUV rolled over.
Amazingly, one can clearly hear the Forward Collision Warning alert even before the lead vehicle applies brakes, and can see that the technology used the lead as well as the vehicle in front of it-the black SUV- to detect the collision. He further informs that his Tesla’s autopilot started applying the brakes before he could do.
The new radar has an ability to track two cars ahead of you-one in front of you and the other ahead of it. It looks around and underneath the traffic/cars that is normally not possible for a Tesla driver.
In the video, initially the Forward Collision Warning alert seems to be pointless, as no scene is visible that could signal an accident, but just a second later we realise that the alert was very much in time. It was not visible from a driver’s standpoint, as the forward moving vehicle had blocked the view of the next car. However, the radar could clearly see what is happening and going to happen.
To facilitate all, the new third generation feature was installed to all Tesla vehicles equipped with the first generation Autopilot and would soon to vehicles with second generation Autopilot.
Although early warning collision and automatic emergency braking systems are useful safety measures, they must not be considered an alternative to human vigilance.