Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta system is overly cautious, but at times, it's outright scary.
We'll start by saying this is a test we wouldn't sign up for. Kudos to Chuck Cook for taking one for the team, or many really. He puts his Tesla through the paces by using its Full Self-Driving Beta technology to attempt a series of unprotected left turns. The drone footage helps us get a really solid idea of the situation.
As you can see in the video, Cook gets his car lined up in a turnaround area on a divided highway without a traffic signal. It appears to be a busy time of day, so traffic is racing toward him as his Model 3 looks for an opportunity to turn left and cross the road between continuous bursts of heavy traffic.
It's important to note that the Tesla is heading directly across the road into a residential area, so while some drivers would take any safe chance to "floor it," the car isn't going to do that. It's going to wait until it "feels" it can cross safely and relatively slowly.
This means the car waits seemingly forever in some instances. However, the anxiety-including part is not knowing precisely when the Tesla is going to make a go for it. Cook has to be on high alert and grab the steering wheel and slam on the brakes at a moment's notice if the Tesla proceeds when he doesn't think it's safe to do so. You know that arcade game where you wait for the heads to pop up from the table so you can bash them with a hammer? Yea ...
The hard part here is Cook can't just let the car proceed and hope it will work out. It could easily cause an accident. Perhaps in some of the cases, if he'd let the car proceed, it would have quickly sped up and/or worked to avoid the oncoming traffic, but who knows. It's not a risk he's willing to take, and for good reason. We certainly wouldn't cross our fingers and put our lives in the car's hands.
There's really no better way to understand the situation than watching the video above. We think you'll be intrigued, but be prepared to have your heart racing, especially if you keep watching. At least you know ahead of time that Cook is alive to share the footage. Hopefully, it's testing and footage like this that helps Tesla take the technology to the next level.
Once you've watched the video, start a conversation in the comment section below. This video definitely deserves our audience's attention and wisdom.