There has been some seriously impressive innovation coming out of the self-driving car industry over the past couple of years. Companies like Tesla have figured out ways to use radar and computer vision to keep drivers in their lane and out of harm’s way. Though we have witnessed a tragedy or two such as the Model S that tried to drive under a truck (the driver wasn’t paying attention), there have been multiple reports of the technology kicking in at just the right moment to help save a life or two. Just yesterday, a user on Twitter posted first hand dash cam footage of their vehicle detecting a collision before it even took place.
Original video, authorisation from the owner. Essential, no one could predict the accident but the radar did and acted by emergency braking. pic.twitter.com/70MySRiHGR
— Hans Noordsij (@HansNoordsij) December 27, 2016
The video was recorded by a driver in the Netherlands making his way along the highway in his Tesla Model X. His vehicle was able to detect the car in front of him failing to slow down as traffic was coming to a halt, which caused a pretty serious incident and forced the vehicle 2 cars ahead to flip over. You can even hear the Model X beeping to alert the driver of the oncoming incident just seconds before it occurs. It’s pretty eerie to watch.
The feature was deployed just recently as part of the version 8.0 software update in September, which used new radar processing tech to detect the crash. The Model X essentially bounces radar underneath the car in front of it, which then detects the speed and distance at which it is traveling. When it detects there will be an incident, it relays an audible beep within the cabin and stops the car appropriately. As you can see in the video, the Model X was able to stop far before it came close to the vehicle in front of it, keeping the driver safe from a multi-car pileup.
Hans Noordsij, who was driving the Model X updated everyone to the fact that everyone involved turned out okay, which is very fortunate considering the accident involved a flipped vehicle. Many other drivers were able to pull to the side of the road just in time, and it’s fortunate that no one else was involved.
The new feature was pushed to all Tesla vehicles with the first generation Autopilot technology, and will apparently be making its way to the second generation hardware very soon. We’re hoping this is the case, as there is some serious life-saving technology packed into this update.
Have you experienced anything similar to this incident? This kind of radar technology is quite incredible, and it would be a much safer world if all of our vehicles were able to utilize it.