Watch Tesla Model 3 Autopilot Detect Lane-Splitting Motorcycles


If not detected, there’s sure to be a crash in the making.

Tesla’s Autopilot system may not be perfect quite yet. However, gradual improvements via software updates continue to improve upon an already industry-leading system.

Some of the trickier elements for any self-driving or near self-driving system are the unexpected moments. You know, those unpredictable, but often-occurring blips. These include pedestrians unexpectedly stepping into the roadways. Cars veering one way or the other and even those lane-splitting motorcycles that appear seemingly out of nowhere.

This particular video focuses on the latter. As you’ll see in the clip from the view of the Tesla Model 3, several instances of lane-splitting motorcycles are recorded. It seems Tesla Autopilot is rather solid at capturing the bikes and, beyond that, detecting the presence and the possible threat.

But that’s not all you’ll see in the video. What becomes immediately evident is the risk these bikes pose, both to the riders and cars driving nearby. It’s downright scary to watch several of the scenes in the video above. And we’ll be the first to admit that, as a driver, we’d be unlikely to detect the motorcycles in many instances until it was too late.

Video description:

For 3D sound use headphones! Video of Tesla autopilot detecting lane-splitting motorcycles recorded with binaural audio. Tesla Software version 9 (2018.42.3). Tesla Model 3 (AP 2.5 hardware).

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20 Comments on "Watch Tesla Model 3 Autopilot Detect Lane-Splitting Motorcycles"

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Lane splitting is legal and safe as long as drivers drive normally.

If people used their rearview mirror and side mirrors they would see motorcycles coming. Obviously not all of them as some motorcyclists drive like terrible people just like some cars drive like terrible people.

I have been splitting lanes for nearly 50 years and will continue to do so. It is safer than sitting in the lane and having someone think the lane is empty and whipping in to my lane. I am completely aware that some people are startled by my passing, but it is still a safe method. It also reduces my time on the highway, thereby reducing my exposure to distracted and incompetent drivers.

I drive at least 30 or 40 miles per hour over the limit for safety reasons.

Spoken like someone who’s never ridden a motorcycle.

It is illegal to drive wearing headphones in some states including Alaska.

It’s illegal in many states. The exception is if it’s hooked up to a hearing assist device.

Many of those motorcycles were traveling at much greater than safe speeds. Simply being startled because you as the driver wasn’t watching carefully enough to detect the motorcyclist earlier is not evidence of a lack of safety on the part of the motorcyclist.

For me, I find that people who cause me the most risk while lane-splitting are those drivers distracted by electronic devices, or those who don’t know what I am doing is perfectly legal in the manner I am doing it.

Get trained, get educated. Don’t try to modify my behavior simply because you are too lazy to learn to do your job as a driver.

If you can’t pick up other vehicles on the road don’t drive on the road. A few of those bikes were going faster than I would but otherwise pay attention and get off your phones!

Lanesplitting may be legal but there are limitations. DOT handbook says that they can’t split lanes at more than 5mph.
Also CHP has not officially made lane splitting between carpool and the 1 lane legal as far as I know.
How is it that people think it’s legal to zigzag over a double solid line????

A few years ago, the CHP released guidelines for lane splitting for competent riders that set a maximum speed of 30 mph and no more than 10 mph over other traffic

“DOT handbook says that they can’t split lanes at more than 5mph.”
No, it doesn’t.

The law that was passed, AB-51, cites no such restriction for Lane sharing.

Check the crash statistics before you say it is risky or unsafe. It has been shown time and again that way more motorcycle accidents occur on surface street with intersection than lane splitting. I would also caution someone from saying it is unsafe if you have never done it. I know it looks scary from inside the car because you can not see what is happening. However, from the motorcycle perspective you see every inch of what is going on. Motorcycle riding is always about see all you can all the time – seeing every inch. Motorcycle rides also don’t expect the car to see the motorcycle rider. It is nice when they do, but motorcycle riders ALWAYS assume the car does NOT see the rider.

Well said. There was absolutely nothing scary or risky in this video.

The variability is between the front and the back. Notice it does a better job of showing it as a motorcycle in the front. The front of the car has full radar. The back is ultrasonic detectors and cameras, so it is not going to do as good a job resolving objects in the rear. This is likely also why you get the effect of stopping at a light and seeing cars behind you (that are stopped) moving around and even switching from lane to lane.

It matches what is important, that is, what is in front of you is more important than what is in back. It is a bit disconcerting.

Ah well, I have seen two software updates this week. Lets see what happens.

I have heard the arguments, I have motorcycle riding friends, but I am sorry, having a bike dive between me and another car in the adjacent lane when all three are moving at above 40 miles and hour AND the cars are moving relative to each other does not strike me as safe.

As far as the Telsa AP goes, it has become the custom in heavy California traffic to move over to accomodate lane splitting bikes, which implies that you have to be watching behind you all of the time for oncoming bikes. Obviously the Tesla AP does not do this! And yes, I have had bikes honk (beep) at me for not doing the “California jog”. Not saying right or wrong here, just stating a fact.

I drive a lot in heavy bay area traffic. To me the AP mode is most useful in < 15mph freeway traffic so I don't have to manage low speed start and stop traffic.

What you’re citing here is anecdote, not fact.

So it can detect a motorcycle, but not a fire truck?

Camera has Red Eye Problems? Pink Eye?