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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on November 3rd, 2019 | by Johnna Crider


Tesla Autopilot Sees A Person In All Black Crossing At Night (Video)

November 3rd, 2019 by  

Autopilot sees something different in the moving shadows, something that the naked eye of a human barely catches in the early hours of the morning or late at night. It is dark and rainy, conditions that can create low visibility. What may actually be a person jaywalking could be seen as a moving shadow by the naked eye of a sluggish driver.

This time, even though it wasn’t actively engaged, both the driver, Green, and Autopilot saw the jaywalker, who was wearing dark clothing and no reflective gear. He just seemingly appears from the clutches of the shadows like a haunted humanoid shape that one would see in a ghost-chasing documentary.

The guy also crouches in front of the car instead of moving away fast as a normal person would do. What normal person would be out at 4:00 am dancing in the streets while it’s raining? One never truly understands the mind of another person, so your guess is as good as mine. Fortunately, for this crouching shadow, the car was a Tesla and the eyes that saw him were both the driver’s and Autopilot’s. Also, note that Autopilot was not actively engaged, even though its cameras were clearly seeing everything and the emergency response mechanisms kicked in.

You may remember “Green The Only” from a YouTube video showing Paris streets from the perspective of Tesla’s Autopilot. Here’s his latest video:

In this Twitter post, Green posed a very important question: Why do people just walk around like this at 4:00 in the morning? They wear all black and just walk out in front of you with seemingly no regard for their own lives. When I lived in Atlanta, this was a very common occurrence. The nightlife was active there (probably still is) and there is also a visible homeless problem. I would be out at 4:00 am because sometimes I had to work at that time. One of the restaurants I worked at closed at 3:00 am on the weekends, so I would often see the late-night zombie-like waltzes.

Quite a few of the late-night walkers were homeless men and women who, with nowhere to go, would often prowl the streets at night. They would walk in the streets as if they were actual cars. I am sure that Atlanta isn’t the only city with this issue.

For the sake of such lives, and the lives of the drivers, the fact that Autopilot can see what a tired driver at night cannot is indeed a good thing. In another tweet, Green explained that he rarely engages Autopilot in these driving conditions, but would have if he had known these guys would have been there, just to test it out. Another user, Bfklin, asked, “Is that just visual sensor or is there coordination w radar?”  Green replied that it was both vision and radar fusion. Green also provides another view with the narrow cam:

This particular view shows you just how Autopilot sees things — it’s not the typical camera footage that many see online. When cameras are referenced, it’s usually related to Sentry Mode, not Autopilot. As to how Green got this type of view from the Autopilot camera? He explains this in a Tesla Motors Club forum.

Editor’s addendum: Just before editing this article, I came across a great clip of Tesla Autopilot saving the day in the face of a jaywalking coyote. Have a watch:

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About the Author

is a Baton Rouge artist, gem and mineral collector, and Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.” Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter

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