Tesla Model S driver crashes into a van while on Autopilot [Video]

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#1


A Tesla Model S driver published the video of his car crashing into a van while on Autopilot which acts as a great PSA to remind Tesla drivers not to always rely on the Autopilot and be ready to take control at all time. In this particular case, the video shows quite clearly what went wrong and the data could actually be useful to Tesla to help prevent the event from happening again. more…

Filed under: Cars, Tesla Tagged: Autopilot, autopilot crash, crash, Model S, TACC, Tesla, Tesla Autopilot, Tesla Model S, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control


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garsh

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#2
Wow. I wonder why autopilot failed to see the big stationary object in the path? Luckily the speeds weren't too great.

I would have thought that this would be a situation where the emergency braking would definitely prevent the accident. I'm going to be quite interested to hear Tesla's response to this.
 

Dan Detweiler

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#3
I think the article explained it pretty well. The car was tracking the vehicle in front that swerved to miss the van. It should have picked up the van but didn't lock onto it until too late. I am sure this will be addressed in future updates. The ironic thing to me is that the accident never should have happened if the system was being used as it was intended. This one is on the driver. He should have seen the obstruction and taken over control. The biggest issue I think we will all face with early versions of auto pilot is drivers trying to make it more than it is. The driver has to remain aware and alert and ready to take over if the situation warrants it. We are still a ways away from complete autonomy and until that time comes we have to remain vigilant.

I think the interesting question here is whether the accident would have occurred if the TACC had not been turned on. Would the emergency system have engaged sooner if TACC wasn't tracking the car in front of it?

Dan
 

MelindaV

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#4
Agree, this is driver error who clearly was not paying attention.
Yesterday I was listening to the latest podcast from "Talking Tesla" and one of the hosts has a non-AP model s and occasionally drives his wife's new X with AP. he mentioned the sensor distances for the sides being 16ft (IIRC) but was looking for the forward distance because felt the car wasn't looking forward as much as a driver would. His example was leaving from a light at full speed when a block ahead there were stopped cars that it then needed to brake for, whereas a driver would have started out slower to not have to come to a slamming stop 200 feet later.
 

MelindaV

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#5
Wow. I wonder why autopilot failed to see the big stationary object in the path? Luckily the speeds weren't too great.

I would have thought that this would be a situation where the emergency braking would definitely prevent the accident. I'm going to be quite interested to hear Tesla's response to this.
The emergency braking only reduces the car speed, but is not intended to bring it to a complete stop. Something like a 35mph reduction. The beeping in the video is when the EB is going. In that amount of time, the driver couldn't manage to sit up and put his foot on the brake?
 

MelindaV

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#7
I quoted the EB section of the Model X in another post that I'll find the link for that outlines it's expected behavior