Our two friends - Chris (Kman Auto) and Mike Anthony (occasional contributor here at InsideEVs) tested the recent Autopilot Version 8.0 update, specifically its ability to detect pedestrians - using Mike as the guinea pig no less.
Now, keep in mind, that this is not the safest experiment, so we advise you to leave it up to these 'experts'.
Mike Anthony and KmanAuto testing Tesla Autopilot 8.0 Pedestrian Detection and Automatic Braking
They take the system through seven different tests and compare the results. It's truly amazing that Tesla can improve the technology so drastically and quickly through the over-the-air updates. With the addition of radar, and relying on the support of the cameras, the car stopped safely in nearly every situation.
Video Description via KmanAuto (Kman is a friend of InsideEVs and his good buddy Mike Anthony, who wrote for InsideEVs in the past):
About 6 months ago, Myself and Mike Anthony from Mike Anthony Autosports had a brilliant idea to test out the Collision Avoidance system of the Tesla Model S (And on Model X technically since same hardware and software). This was way back on Firmware 7.xx.
In October, Tesla released Firmware (Autopilot) 8.0, which has been met with mixed emotions. I, personally am not a fan. The interface and it's feature changes felt rushed. However, something that was not as rushed, was "under the hood" so to say. Tesla, with Bosch (the supplier of the Radar hardware) have created a "Enhanced" Radar. Basically, same hardware, but the programming has been changed Exponentially. Through Software, they have been able to greatly increase what and how the radar detects objects, and have been able to bring it from a secondary sensor, to a Primary on the same level as the camera. In this video, we do multiple tests at different speeds to see if Firmware 8.0 has made any improvements. We were not expecting it to have been in the sense of Pedestrian Detection, however, Tesla has pulled through.
In one instance, when Mike was jogging across all lanes, Kman had to assist in the braking. He explained that if he had not assisted, the car may have hit Mike. However, the car's system, if unaided, still would have significantly lessened the impact.
When the two did similar testing on Autopilot 7.0 (full story details/video), the results were not nearly as positive. Check it out for comparison (watch Mike, um...watch his life flash before his eyes at the 4:00 mark).
Video (below): here is the new test from Mike's point of view (from the 3:50 mark)
Hat tip to KmanAuto and Mike Anthony!