Update: Video added showing auto-braking in action.
With Autopilot going live this month on all the Tesla Model S electric sedans running around in the field, everyone is starting to look deeper into the cool safety tech that’s included. Today, Tesla Roadster owner and Tesla Model X Signature reservation holder #2 Bonnie Norman (@bonnienorman) tweeted to Elon about a thread on TMC where lots of Tesla users have thrown down their tales of the Tesla Model S’s auto-braking feature saving the day.
Here are a few of the stories that stood out to me that really illustrate how powerful and potentially life-saving these features are:
Tesla Motor Club user “pdefl” shares a VERY near miss:
“A friend that has a P85D, the day I visited to see the car, some hours earlier, on the highway a car stopped abruptly in front of him, he only realised when the car started to warn about the collision, the Model S came to a complete stop one centimeter from the other car. He said he would be seriously hurt if it wasn’t for the car system”
These features also work well in inclement weather. As an infrequent driver in the rain, this is great for me (and all Californians for that matter). Forum member “JanetM” shares:
“Friday I had to take a pet to a short-notice vet visit in heavy rain. On the way home a car slammed on the brakes in front of me, in the exact moment I was checking the passenger mirror to make a lane change. The collision warning sound alerted me and the car started to brake before I even realized what was happening. I’m pretty sure I would have hit them if not for the alert/auto braking. Pretty sweet.”
Member “Tree95” shared a story I could imagine happening on any day of the week on my drive home:
“I got onto a ‘cloverleaf’ style onramp to a freeway in early afternoon. As I went around the 270 degree turn, I was staring at the freeway I was about get onto amazed that it was already stop-n-go. I heard the car’s collision alarm (I honestly don’t know if it started braking or if I hit the brake first). This onramp had metering lights at the bottom, and there was a car stopped at the metering light in front of me. I wasn’t expecting it, and I wasn’t looking ahead because I was staring out to the left looking at the stopped traffic on the freeway.”
Finally, user “mikeash” shared a key detail for all of us non-Telsa owners (or maybe I should say “future Tesla owners” 🙂 ):
“[Autobraking is] on all the time. There’s a button in the settings to turn it off temporarily, but it automatically re-enables next time you drive, and it’s on by default to start with.”
These real-life stories call attention to the fact that Tesla is not just building quality electric cars with more range than the other guys, but it is truly transforming the way we interact with cars and the way they work for us. Autopilot. Life-extending pollution filtration. And now… Auto-braking. I’m just waiting for Elon to tell us all that the autopilot in our Teslas will also take us to Mars… perhaps in another couple of years….
As autopilot features become more and more prevalent, I’m wondering if we will see driving skills get worse as drivers grow more dependent on their cars to drive for them. A comment by user “Kristofer Helle” indicates this may already be happening… or that he shouldn’t have a license to drive in the first place 🙂 :
“Saves me several times every week “
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