Dashcam Video Shows Tesla Autopilot Predict & Then Avoid Crash

4 months ago by Eric Loveday 59

This video shows exactly how Autopilot is supposed to help save lives by avoiding accidents.

Crash Detected...Brakes Automatically Applied

Crash Detected…Brakes Automatically Applied

Detection takes place at around 4 seconds into the video when you hear the Tesla emit a series of warning beeps. The Tesla is detecting an imminent crash ahead and begins to immediately apply the brakes to avoid colliding with the vehicle involved in the wreck.

As SF Gate exaplins:

“Video taken from the dash cam of a Tesla Model X in the Netherlands shows a car crash that happens on the freeway — and how Tesla’s Autopilot feature stops the car quickly to avoid a collision.”

“The amazing part is the car predicted that the crash was about to occur … and slowed down just before the collision.”

Video description:

“Frank van Hoesel dashcam footage showing a Tesla car emergency braking as the car predicts an accident before it happens.”

Tesla’s radar sensors detect an issue and predict a future collision. The vehicle reacts by slowing the car prior to when the driver even began to apply the brakes.

Nobody was seriously injured in the wreck.

Source: SFGate, Twitter

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66 responses to "Dashcam Video Shows Tesla Autopilot Predict & Then Avoid Crash"

  1. CDAVIS says:

    Impressive. That Tesla paid for itself several times over for that owner especially considering he had his kids in the car.

  2. DonC says:

    Hope the people in the SUV are OK. That was a nasty roll over. As for the Tesla, nice but this would be standard for any vehicle equipped with a crash avoidance system utilizing front firing Doppler radar.

    1. Fred says:

      My understand is that typical front facing dopler radar wouldn’t detect a slow down multiple cars in front, just the closest car. Do you have a link to indicate otherwise?

  3. PT says:

    This isn’t a feature unique to Tesla. It’s part of the Bosch radar system and has been out for years, way before Tesla finally added it.

  4. Fred Gibutr says:

    Big deal. Any attentive driver would not have plowed into the developing accident.

    1. jelloslug says:

      Yea, lets just toss it all out.

    2. Timothy Vollmer says:

      If you watch the video carefully, the car clearly starts slowing down before you can even see the slowed cars as the red car blocks your view. I’m not sure how you expect to avoid accidents you can’t see.

      1. DL says:

        I can’t clearly see 3 or even 4 cars ahead of the red car, and that’s from the central mounted dash cam. A driver’s point of view would show even more distance ahead.

      2. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

        You can clearly see the brake lights of the car that was rear ended go on seconds before AutoPilot detects the slowed/stopped car.

        1. ffbj says:

          Well, if someone changed water into wine you would probably whine about the vintage.

          1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

            Changing water into wine? Is that some newfangled fuel cell? And yes, I would whine about the vintage. Life’s too short to drink cheap/bad wine. 😀

            Anyways, I was just disagreeing with Tim’s assertion that the Tesla “clearly starts slowing down before you can even see the slowed cars as the red car blocks your view,” as you can clearly see the rear-ended car’s brake lights seconds before AutoPilot sounds a warning. It is what it is.

            1. ffbj says:

              No, you can’t see that, unless like superman you have X-Ray vision. The beeping starts just prior to any action ahead, but I suppose you can see what you want.
              Your POV is tainted by your inability to give credit, and instead to find a flaw with anything Tesla does.

              1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

                Perhaps you’re looking at the video on a small screen like a smart phone. At 2 seconds into the video the SUV hits its brakes and the brake lights light up and stay on until 6 seconds into the video when the SUV is rear ended. Check the video again.

                In this instance, I didn’t find a flaw in Tesla AutoPilot, but I did find fault with the Tesla driver. He was inattentive, and waited too long to apply the brakes. The Tesla driver was going 70 miles per hour (113 km/hr) and he didn’t react to brake lights ahead of him in his lane, and 3 full seconds later the Tesla AutoPilot beeped at 5 seconds into the video. That means the Tesla driver driving at 70 mph traveled about 308 feet after the brake lights first came on until the AutoPilot started beeping and braking (5280 feet x 70 mph ÷ 60 minutes ÷ 60 seconds = 102.67 feet per second x 3 seconds = 308 feet). That’s the length of a football field. Correct me if my math is wrong.

                I don’t know about you, but when I’m driving 70 mph down the highway and I see brake lights in my lane ahead of me, I immediately cover the brakes. This Tesla driver, for whatever reason, was inattentive to the traffic ahead of him and didn’t brake when he should have been slowing down and closely watching the situation unfold in front of him. If the Tesla driver braked when he should have (immediately after the SUV hit its brakes), then the AutoPilot would have disengaged and never given him the warning beep. If anything, that is the flaw with the Tesla Autopilot: any braking action automatically disengages the AutoPilot. Subaru’s collision avoidance system would not disengage when hitting the brake, and would have continued to apply the brakes, and even applying maximum braking pressure if necessary.

        2. DJ says:

          I would agree with this. I was always taught to look ahead of the car in front of you while also looking at the car in front of you. I have avoid a few accidents I am sure because of that.

          Only thing I can really add is damn that small car took out that SUV hard. Hope they are ok.

          1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

            I would guess that Tesla and the other automakers/companies working on autonomous driving are trying to program their cameras to detect red brake lights much in the same way they would detect a red traffic light. That would be important hurdle to overcome on the way to Level 5 autonomous driving.

        3. Paul Smith says:

          No you can’t. You can see the turn signal of the red car, that’s all.

          1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

            Nope, you can clearly see the SUV’s brake lights through the red car’s windows before the red car goes under the overpass.

            1. GRA says:

              Indeed, but as you say, you need to look at it full screen. When you do so, the SUV’s brake lights are apparent. The Tesla driver’s reaction does appear to be somewhat slow. It’s nice to have AEB as a backup, but that’s exactly what it should be, a backup, until such time as full autonomy with acceptable safety is possible.

        4. Butch says:

          People, people, people…the object of the story here is that the technology works…and it will only mature further to work better…it just happened to have been recorded by a Tesla X…

          Ya’ll need to get over this obvious “Anything but Tesla” thing you have going on here.

  5. bro1999 says:

    I wonder: if all the cars involved had automatic emergency braking systems employed, would the accident have been prevented? Hmm

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Well, long-term harm would likely have been prevented by reducing collision speeds and, hopefully, encouraging drivers not to swerve and roll.

      In the USA, almost all manufacturers (99% of the market) agreed to install AEB standard by 9/1/2022, and larger pick-up by the end of 2025 but I suspect that it’ll end up standard long before then with the combination of falling costs, safety benefits and insurance discounts.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        … Also, since AEB is a part of any advanced driver assistance system, it’ll spread quickly.

  6. ffbj says:

    Wow! At least there is no argument about who caused the accident. A good argument for those that claim that autopilot is safer than human drivers, I can’t think of a current driver assist package that would ram a car in front of it while trying to make a lane change.
    In statistical compilations that make such claims for auto pilot the severity of the accident should also be taken into consideration.

  7. Nelson says:

    I wonder what the Tesla would have done if it was the vehicle about to get reared instead of the black SUV. Would it have accelerated to avoid getting hit?

    NPNS! SBF!
    Volt#671

    1. Trollnonymous says:

      Not much it could’ve done. There were vehicles in front of it already braking.

      +1 for the AEB.

    2. ANewHope says:

      I think self driving cars should have missile self defence system. If you know you going to be rammed, go into self defence mode and launch pre-emptive missile strike at incoming target. 😉

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  8. DL says:

    What I see is very good automated driving technology for the days when a driver is not present in the car, but not an “accident saved” for an alert driver. The point of proper following distance and speed is so that you don’t need to see the car in front of the one in front of you.

    In a true panic braking scenario, it’s the cars BEHIND you that are the biggest risk.

    1. James says:

      DL,

      It is clear you DO NOT understand how the Tesla Autopilot works.

      The car can actually (using radar) see 2-3 vehicles in front of you.

      So in other words, Tesla Autopilot can detect a wreck 3-vehicles ahead of you well out of visual range of a driver.

      It does this by bouncing radar signals under the vehicles in front of you and processing the returns. Science, check it out some time; it almost always beats stupid people on the internet.

      Please educate yourself on the system before you try to bash it. If you want me to walk you through the algorithms and math on how this works please let me know.

      http://www.teslarati.com/tesla-autopilot-version-8-0-radar-two-cars-ahead/

      1. DL says:

        I have read about and fully understand the Tesla system. Does it save otherwise incompetent or inattentive (i.e. irresponsible) drivers from a crash? Yes, it does. Does it save properly attentive drivers from a crash? Yet to be proven.

        1. Nix says:

          DL — Nice slander against every single Tesla driver who has ever used this system, saying they violated traffic code 26 “inattentive driving”.

          Hey, maybe before you commit criminal slander, saying that Tesla drivers who have used this system are all violating laws in their states, maybe you should actually have some facts to back you up.

          Where do you have proof that every time this system has triggered, that the drivers were committing the crime 24 Inattentive Driving? Because you are making a very serious accusation. If you can’t back up your accusations with actual facts, you should retract.

  9. Anon says:

    The system saw the Black SUV brake in front of the Red vehicle (unseeable from driver POV), and reacted by warning and braking simultaneously– preventing a worse incident after the Red vehicle collided with the Black one.

    Nothing predictive, but the look-ahead capability is impressive and clearly of value.

    1. James says:

      Anon,

      So you are saying that the Tesla didn’t “predict” the crash.

      From Dictionary.com: predictive: 3.
      being an indication of the future or of future conditions

      The distances between the vehicles ahead of the Tesla were closing at a rate where a crash was imminent. The Model X recognized this and took action.

      If a 18-wheeler is going 60 MPH and needs to come to a stop in a distance of 20 feet (aka closing rate)…..the math is very simple on that. It will never ever stop that quickly in that distance. Recognizing this before this occurs is called predicting….

      The Tesla calculated the “closing rate” and determined that short of a para-shoot or reverse thrusters off a 727 the vehicle was going to impact the SUV.

      #ScienceBaby

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Anon said:

      “Nothing predictive…”

      Predictive is very specifically what it is. Your statement is 180° wrong.

  10. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

    Meh. You can see the brake lights of the car that was rear ended go on seconds before Autopilot braked the Tesla. An alert driver would have noticed this and at least covered the brake, if not starting braking before AutoPilot started braking.

    1. cmina says:

      Yeah but then you factor this in:

      “A weighted sample of 5,470 crashes was investigated over a period of two and a half years, which represents an estimated 2,189,000 crashes nationwide. About 4,031,000 vehicles, 3,945,000 drivers, and 1,982,000 passengers were estimated to have been involved in these crashes. The critical reason, which is the
      last event in the crash causal chain, was assigned to the driver in 94 percent (±2.2%)of the crashes. In about 2 percent (±0.7%) of the crashes, the critical reason was assigned to a vehicle component’s
      failure or degradation, and in 2 percent (±1.3%) of crashes, it was attributed to the environment (slick roads, weather, etc.).
      ..
      Statistics show that the recognition error, which included driver’s inattention, internal and external distractions, and inadequate surveillance, was the most (41% ±2.2%) frequently assigned critical reason. Decision error such as driving too fast for conditions, too fast for the curve, false assumption of others’
      actions, illegal maneuver and misjudgment of gap or others’ speed accounted for about 33 percent (±3.7%) of the crashes. In about 11 percent (±2.7%) of the crashes, the critical reason was performance error such as overcompensation, poor directional control, etc. Sleep was the most common critical reason among non-performance errors that accounted for 7 percent (±1.0%) of the crashes. Other driver errors were recorded as critical reasons for about 8 percent (±1.9%) of the drivers.”

    2. Nix says:

      Not only did you get the timing wrong, you are doing a lousy job of armchair quarterbacking. You don’t even know what the binging sounds are for.

      Gee, you get a video clearly titled as crash footage, and you successfully saw that a crash was going to happen. Congratulations, you have proven that you can identify an accident happening, after you’ve been told that an accident is going to happen.

      But the real world doesn’t like that way. What you see in real time doesn’t come framed with a title telling you there is going to be a collision coming.

      The driver himself stated that the car saw the accident coming before he did, and alerted him to the accident.

      All of your repeated whining goes against the actual facts.

      I’m wondering if there will ever be a story about Tesla where you won’t find an excuse to whine like a little punk about Tesla?

      You are a fuel cell fanboi, and Elon publicly called you fanboi’s out to be clueless and you can’t let it go. We get it already. Give it a break.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        sven said:

        “The driver wasn’t paying attention to the road if he didn’t see the SUVs brake lights a full three seconds…”

        Dude, are you actually trying to tell us that you always brake when you see brake lights in front of you? Or are you actually trying to claim that Autopilot should always brake the instant it “sees” brake lights ahead?

        If you’re gonna make up and post anti-Tesla FUD, then at least have the decency to not insult everybody’s intelligence when doing so. There’s a line between B.S. and unbelievable B.S… and you cross it waaaaaay too often.

        http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g194/Lensman03/Unbelievable-BS-Airplane.gif

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          Don’t twist my words Poo-Poo. You said “always brake,” not me. Stop making stuff up.

          The SUVs brake lights where on for a full 3 seconds before the AutoPilot started beeping. At 70 mph you would cover 308 feet in 3 seconds, the length of entire football field. Are you telling me that you wouldn’t slow down when you’re driving 70 mph and you see that one of the cars in front of you has their brake lights on for 3 full seconds? Have you never heard of defensive driving in rural Kansas?

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            sven said:

            “Are you telling me that you wouldn’t slow down when you’re driving 70 mph and you see that one of the cars in front of you has their brake lights on for 3 full seconds?”

            Dude, even watching it repeatedly with the video full screen and knowing what I should be looking for, I don’t see any signs of danger until less than a second before the accident. So your talk about “three seconds” is just more of your Tesla hater B.S.

            And even if your “three seconds” assertion was actually true, the relevant point is that the driver in question didn’t react before Tesla Autopilot did. That’s the important thing; it’s the thing which is gonna save lives, despite your persistent FUD and your persistent B.S. here.

            But hey, good job there of trying to make your B.S. smell like ice cream.

            1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

              Pu-Pu said:
              “I don’t see any signs of danger until less than a second before the accident. So your talk about “three seconds” is just more of your Tesla hater B.S.”

              At 2 seconds into the video, as the red car approaches the overpass you can see the brake lights of the SUV light up and stay on, and 3 seconds later the Tesla AutoPilot starts beeping. The SUVs lights stayed on from when the red car started going under the overpass until impact 4 seconds later @ 6 seconds into the video.

              There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

      2. Nix says:

        “Does the binging sound mean that another Tesla fanboi gets his wings?”

        Yes it absolutely does. The more times Tesla owners hear those bings and have their Tesla save them from an accident, owner satisfaction with their Tesla just keeps going up and up.

        There is nothing like having your car that has record high levels of nearly unanimous satisfaction, then safe your life. Of course it is going to create HUGE brand loyalty to those owners. And to their families and friends.

        That’s why anti-Tesla trolls hate it so much, and go to such lengths to attack it with BS. These record levels of customer satisfaction due to features exactly like this just burn the chaps of you Tesla haters. Too bad, there is nothing you can do to stop it. All your misinformation is utterly failing, as is shown right in this story:

        http://insideevs.com/consumer-reports-tesla-model-s-rated-1-in-customer-satisfaction/

  11. AlphaEdge says:

    Amazing. The Tesla braked before the other car behind him did, and came to a complete stop much farther away.

    A much smaller vehicle taking out a huge SUV! So much for people feeling safe in those things. Especially considering the high center of gravity is what contributed to the roll-over.

  12. Dan Hue says:

    What impresses me is that the Tesla predicted the crash, as evidenced by the beeping warning before the actual impact. This is more than just collision avoidance.

  13. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Not to take away anything from Tesla’s autopilot, but I think you can see that van before the red car was slowing down/stopped… The beeping is nice to alert drivers and AEB is the key feature here.

    1. James says:

      It uses RADAR. The Tesla saw the crash BEFORE anybody in the crash vehicles did!!!

      To prove my point, can you tell me what is the closest distance that you can be from another vehicle, traveling at a specific speed and still have time/room to stop without impacting them in an emergency braking scenario? Don’t forget to factor in your specific car, the load it is carrying, your current tires and their current wear state, the road conditions (asphalt vs concrete), weather conditions, ambient temperature, turning radius of that specific part of the road (you can’t brake as well in a turn).

      Because a Tesla can do the math on that, and in public while driving. Yes Machines have trumped Man in this regard, but is that really an issue?

    2. cmina says:

      “Not to take away anything from Tesla’s autopilot..”

      You have wrongly identified the case.
      Here’s how your description pans out:

      Not the same thing.

  14. Nix says:

    Apparently the haters didn’t actually bother reading the SF link:

    “the driver of the Tesla in the video reportedly confirmed the car started braking before he could do it himself.”

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      The video confirmed that if the driver where paying attention to the road he could have started braking before AutoPilot intervened.

      1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

        If I was driving in the Tesla driver’s place, I would have braked in real time before the AutoPilot beeped. Also note that the SUV traveled forward a good 60 feet at least from the point of impact, and the AutoPilot stopped the Tesla past the point of impact.

        I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. 😀

        1. Nix says:

          Still more attacks on Tesla’s system. It is called momentum. The Tesla computer understands it.

          There is nothing wrong with where the Tesla stopped. It stopped the car where it needed to stop, knowing what the vehicles in front of it was doing, including the fact that NONE of the vehicles went from 70 to 0 in zero feet.

          All we can agree on is that whenever there is a story about Tesla, you will say the most disagreeable BS imaginable.

      2. Nix says:

        The video confirmed that when you are told ahead of time that there is going to be a wreck in the next few seconds of video, that if you go full screen and replay it a bunch of times that you can do the same thing that a Tesla can do in real-time, the first time.

        Your ability to find an accident, after being told there absolutely will be an accident says nothing about how actual real drivers reacting in real time, and not from the safety of hiding behind a computer screen.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          If I where driving in place of the Tesla driver, I would have started braking in real time before the AutoPilot started beeping.

          I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

          1. Nix says:

            yea, and if you were quarterback of your high school football team, you would have made that big hail mary pass to win Homecoming too…

            *laugh*!!!

            What a big hero, seeing brake lights in a video when you’ve been told that the accident will be of a collision, and you then go full screen 3 feet from your face in the peace of your parent’s basement, and replay it over and over.

            Sorry buddy, but you are no Superman. You’re just a Joker who talks big from behind a keyboard. Now scurry off, and stop making a fool of yourself.

  15. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Not surprising to see the one of the usual Tesla bashers in here trying to tell us that the ability of Tesla Autopilot to avoid an accident is irrelevant, but it’s sad to see others joining them.

    As I write this, no less than ten (10) posts try to make the case that Tesla Autopilot was unnecessary for the car to avoid this accident, despite the very clear description that Autopilot started braking even before the human driver noticed danger ahead!

    If you’re not sven, who’s only worried about this affecting his short-selling of Tesla stock, then perhaps you’ll re-think that assertion.

    Tesla Autopilot and Autosteer are saving lives and avoiding serious injuries each and every single day. The various statements here about “Well, if the driver had been alert and looking in the right direction, he would have avoided the accident” completely ignore what actually happened, which is that Autopilot reacted before the human driver even noticed the danger.

    If humans were never distracted, never got drunk, never drove while sleepy or drunk, and always just happened to be looking in the right direction to notice an impending accident, then there would be no need for safety systems such as described here.

    But in the real world, even an alert driver can’t look in all directions at all times! In the real world, systems such as Tesla Autopilot and ABS are very much needed to save real lives and avoid real crippling injuries.

    Go Tesla!

  16. Nix says:

    Yea, and you would have caught that touchdown pass and won the game too, if you were a pro football player….. BWAHAHAHHAHAHA!!

  17. notting says:

    My driving teacher told me that I should also try to look through the vehicle driving in front of me (of course what the vehicle in front of me does is more important ;-)). This or last year I had a similar situation on the Autobahn. I was braking before the car in front of me started to brake – and that car crashed into the car in front of him while I could stop early enough.

    Obviously that red car wanted to pass that waiting vehicles on the right lane with quite high speed (what is forbidden in Germany -> in traffic jam situations (<=60km/h) max. 20km/h more when passing vehicles on the right (in situation where it's normally forbidden)).

    BTW: My driving teacher also recommended to switch on the warning lights if you have to slow down quite much, e.g. when you see that you'll reach the end of a traffic jam on streets with quite high speed limit (no matter how early you can see that). The black SUV didn't do that obviously.
    If I'm breaking really hard (you can call it emergency), my car automatically switches them on…

    notting

  18. Phaedrus says:

    Apart from what is said, the video shows a very common problem on dutch freeways, namely that traffic is very often so dense, that drivers have the bad habit to drive too close behind the front car. It is a small miracle that not more accidents like the above happen, I see many near-crashes every time I drive the freeway, most of them because of no distance keeping or aggressive driving. Also, “road rage” makes that drivers keep gaps closed to prevent others to fill the gap. The red car obviously wants to crawl/elbow it’s way through traffic, which is a known phenomenon on dutch freeways.

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