One of the unique features of owning a Tesla vehicle is the inclusion of Autopilot: an advanced driver assist system, which one day Tesla hopes to turn into a fully autonomous driving system.
When that happens, drivers will be able to sit back, relax and concentrate on something other than driving their car. But until it does, Autopilot is there to help the driver whenever it can, which includes preventing an accident a human driver didn't know was going to happen.
Autopilot not only aids the driver, its array of sensors allows the system to predict what is about to happen. A case in point, as reported by DarkVision Hardware, is a recent high speed accident on a Dutch highway, which was captured by a dash cam mounted inside a Tesla. You can watch the footage below:
My first thought after watching the video was "could I have seen that was about to happen?"
I suspect the answer is "no," but even if I did I may not have been able to react quickly enough due to the speed of travel.
The fault here lies with the red car directly in front of the Tesla. It is traveling too fast and the driver is not paying attention. The brakes are never applied and the driver seems to opt to change lanes very late instead of trying to stop. It clearly doesn't end well.
The only way to realize the danger is to look ahead of the red car and spot the brake lights of the SUV in front. That's tough to do for the driver of the Tesla as the red car obscures the view, but Autopilot spots the danger and reacts to it with the warning beeps and emergency braking.
I find this to be a very impressive extra brain working in the car, and one that can't get distracted like human drivers inevitably do. However, the quick reactions of Autopilot could backfire if the driver behind the Tesla isn't paying attention and they smash into the rear of car. Of course, if that car was also using Autopilot no such accident would occur.
This story originally appeared on PCMag