Tesla Model S Auto Braking Prevents Accident – Video

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 36

Accident Avoided

Accident Avoided

While the video title incorrectly states that Autopilot saves the day (Tesla’s without autopilot can still have auto braking, provided the sensors are in place), it’s still rather remarkable to see this Tesla brake on its own to prevent what could have been a catastrophic accident.

Here’s the video description:

“Add your own honking and swearing.

Was travelling a little under 45 mph. There was some rain, but roads were pretty dry. I was watching stopped traffic to my right.

I did not touch the brake. Car did all the work. Sadly no audio, because I had an Uber passenger and Washington has strict privacy laws about recording conversations.”

So, while the driver was distracted by stopped cars, auto brake brought the Model S to a halt just before colliding with the car that made a ridiculous turn in front of traffic.

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36 responses to "Tesla Model S Auto Braking Prevents Accident – Video"

  1. Anon says:

    This is exactly why everyone should care about autonomy in cars.

    …AND NOBODY DIED!

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Maybe if that stupid driver got T-boned by the Model S, then he/she won’t be doing any more stupid driving in the future.

      1. Chris says:

        That is a big maybe… and the other vehicle involved shouldn’t have to pay (time and health) for the bad driver to maybe learn not to pull out in front of people.

        1. MarkN says:

          So your car should stop, then a big hammer should come out of your front end and bash the other car’s hood or door.
          Or maybe just splash them with paint so everyone knows they did a bonehead move.

          1. TomArt says:

            Would be fun!

  2. Three Electrics says:

    Bravo. Excellent work, Tesla.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      What convinced me, being familiar with AP, was how the car re-accelerated as if nothing happened. That’s about the rate Tesla’s AP goes, when a car moves out of its way.

      Meanwhile, I bet the driver was shaking their head, “what just happened?”

  3. suresh says:

    wow. did it break to a stop by itself or slowed it down enough for the driver to react?

    1. ffbj says:

      I think it was braking by itself.

      1. sven says:

        I can’t see how the driver didn’t also slam on the brake as an instinctive/ingrained reaction, much like a passenger sitting in the front passenger’s seat often instinctively tries to press a nonexistent brake in an emergency braking situation. Oddly, passengers sitting in the back seat don’t instinctively try to press a nonexistent brake in the same emergency braking situation.

    2. Tim(W) says:

      Collision detection systems will bring the car to a full stop without driver intervention. Lots of cars have that capability now. It’s not only a Tesla feature. Both my ELR and 2012 Infiniti EX35 have it.

  4. Josh says:

    That Uber rider would have been pissed 😉

    Glad nobody was hurt, great display of the safety potential of these technologies. Replacing the driver that made the dangerous turn is the ultimate goal.

  5. mr. M says:

    Wow, this cool.

  6. notting says:

    Isn’t the rule that the other car had to stop or even wasn’t allowed to turn left?
    Don’t you think that this could cause that people give a damn on that rules because the other will probably brake so in the end causes accidents?

    notting

    PS: Poor Tesla driver who obviously has to do something that is illegal in many countries to afford the costs (->Uber).

    1. Nix says:

      The car that was turning was in a legal turn lane, and was allowed to turn at that location. That car that was turning was legally required to wait until the Tesla went past before turning.

      But this is actually a very common type of accident. From the driver’s perspective, there was a lane of traffic at a halt, and somebody had nicely left a hole in that lane of traffic for the car to turn.

      The driver’s focus became fixated on the vehicle in the right lane of traffic that had stopped and left a hole for them to turn. The oncoming lights of the Tesla in the left lane of traffic was lost in the sea of stopped headlights in the right lane, and the reflection of their own headlights off of the center posts down the middle of the road.

      Have you ever seen a magic show? Have you been distracted by a magician doing something flashy to draw your attention with his right hand, while he does something sneaky with their left hand behind their back? You don’t notice the left hand because you focused on the right hand, and the magician makes it look like something appears from nowhere!

      That is how this driver mistakenly came to believe they could turn. To this driver, the Tesla looked like it came out of nowhere in the left lane, because they were focused on the right lane and what was happening in the left lane was partially camouflaged. With the driver’s focus on the stopped car in the right lane, the approaching Tesla was in the driver’s peripheral vision, and the driver’s brain was not focused on it.

      This driver’s mind fell for a distraction just like the human brain falls for magic tricks over and over (even when you know it is a magic show). Yes, it seems very clear that they shouldn’t have turned when looking at this from the perspective of the Tesla. But the other car didn’t have a video feed from the Tesla’s perspective.

      Drivers are naturally susceptible to this type of illusion the same way people go to magic shows and are tricked by magic. That’s where computers come in handy. They aren’t susceptible to illusion or distraction. Their brains don’t have a small area of focus, while the majority of what they see is peripheral and away from focus.

    2. BraveLilToaster says:

      I like your attitude. “That other person did the bad thing and should be punished”.

      As opposed to, “nobody got hurt and no property was damaged”.

      Because the former is what America is all about!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Technology taking responsibility of humans.
    This will create more incompetent drivers.

    1. Someone out there says:

      Drivers are already incompetent, that’s why the technology is there.

    2. pjwood1 says:

      Ah, yes. A common assumption:

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Anonymous said:

      “This will create more incompetent drivers.”

      If the tech of self-driving cars results in fewer traffic accidents, then I don’t care.

      1. Gene says:

        Is there any statistical evidence to back this up? (I’m not saying there isn’t; I’m unaware of it.) How do we know that people don’t become worse drivers over time when we reduce the need for their attentiveness? People should either be driving or not (e.g. full automation) – if people are somewhere between, giving limited attention to driving, I worry…

        1. Gene says:

          I suspect we’ll never really know. There are likely no reliable statistics on how much accident-causing complacency is caused by automation; people aren’t going to fess up after an accident (if they survive) that it was all that automation that left them un-attentive. Meanwhile, there are plenty of statistics that show when automation does help. We’ll just never know if those mitigated accidents are counterbalanced elsewhere (different events & drivers) by complacency. And most people may never need it anyhow.

  8. AlphaEdge says:

    Wow, someone buys a Model S, and does Uber for a living!

    1. bro1999 says:

      Yeah, I also noticed that part. Also says he’s going to school full time….I doubt he’s making enough money Ubering to pay the monthly payment! Maybe daddy bought him the Tesla. 🙂

      1. Jon Hall says:

        You would think that if my dad was nice enough to buy me a Tesla, he would be nice enough to just pay my tuition as well.

        Sadly he is neither! Which is great, because nothing feels as good as being successful on your own, and having to hustle a bit to make it.

    2. michael says:

      Some people Uber/Lyft because they like to, or because they want a little extra now and then. For example, there’s a major holiday approaching…

      There are few enough doing it for a living that you shouldn’t assume that they need the money.

      I’ve ridden Uber twice, and Lyft once. The second Uber ride was a Mercedes AMG sedan. Silly car for Uber, but it wasn’t my business.

    3. kubel says:

      I can’t think of a more rewarding job if you really enjoy your car than to be driving it for money.

  9. Mikael says:

    It is kind of amazing. And it’s almost hard to imagine that we have only had this technology on the roads for 8 years.

    It’s good that the Euro NCAP a few years back took the decision to make auto braking part of the testing so that almost every model has is as standard now.

    It’s one more step toward eliminating accidents on the roads.

  10. Loboc says:

    I wonder how high a rating a car would get if the braking were active during crash tests?

    If you can’t possibly crash the car, do you really need all that heavy safety equipment?

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Other cars can still crash into you. =)

  11. Loboc says:

    We’re getting there.

    1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

    1. mr. M says:

      Except that we deleted the second robot law wit the “Genfer convention rules”: A car must do what the driver wants at any time. A automonous function must always be abortable(?)/stopable by the driver. (Even when he want to hurt others)

  12. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Great to see a demonstration of how self-driving cars offer the potential for safer travel, even at this early stage of very limited autonomy.

    This is real progress; this is going to become more and more commonplace.

    GO TESLA!

  13. dsh says:

    Looks great.

    Just a reminder though that driving fast when a lane next to you is stopped may be a bad idea as this video illustrates.

    It is probably wise to slow down to at least 50% of speed limit when one lane is not moving.

    The person driving the Tesla in the video could be traveling slower in which case they probably would have seen the car and braked on their own.

    Is it the law to slow down when the next lane next to you is stopped?

    And what about when the lane next to you is not stopped but just moving slower, or much slower, than your lane?

  14. ModernMarvelFan says:

    This kind of accidents happens when one lane of traffic left a gap to yield to the left turn vehicle but the other lane (left lane) traffic doesn’t. The driver who tries to make a turn “falsely assume” the left driver would yield too and makes a wrong decision.

    It happens to me to do when one lane of drive left a gap for me to turn, I won’t do it because of incoming traffic on the other lane. Then the gap becomes larger and the driver that was yielding becomes impatient and started moving again…

    It is also a complex and dangerous situation when you are turning across multiple lanes of traffic.

    At night, it becomes even worse due to poor visibility. That is why I love the “Michigan Left Turn” where it requires driver to make 3 right turns effectively to make a right turn which reduces chance of this kind of accidents. But that requires a much bigger traffic area.

  15. LZL says:

    I think the real credit should be given to MobilEye for the tech behind this collision avoidance system.