Tesla’s Autopilot is an impressive driver assistance system, but the most important part of the system is its Active Safety capabilities. Its skills were put to the test in Toronto this week when a driver attempted to merge into the side of a Tesla. The 2017 Tesla Model S 100D responded as if it were offended and recoiled from the nearby vehicle as if by invisible springs.
The accident avoidance maneuver was so abrupt, the driver of the Tesla Model S actually thought he had been hit by the incoming vehicle. It was only after pulling over for an inspection that he realized there had been no contact.
The quick video highlights just how much of a difference 8 cameras and a computer dedicated to self driving and safety can make. My single pair of eyes allow me to see little more than what a single camera can take in, and Tesla is working with 8 of them. My eyes get tired, get distracted, have to blink, and need to be physically swiveled around to see behind me. Tesla’s cameras don’t.
The Tesla Active Safety system looks around the entire vehicle all the time and knows simultaneously about incoming threats from the left at the same time as it is looking at the open space to the right of the vehicle.
The beauty of the system is that it not only prevents accidents that could cause bodily harm — it also avoids crashes like this one. Avoiding accidents gives time back to owners. No need for several hours on the side of the road or a tow truck. Heck, avoiding a few hours on the phone with the insurance company is enough justification for the system if you ask me. No time spent in the body shop, waiting for parts, or bothering with a rental car. Avoiding accidents makes life a few steps easier for everyone.
On top of that, it also keeps us fragile humans safe, which is nice.