A Tesla car appears to have successfully used its Autopilot feature to predict a car crash moments before it happened, according to dashcam footage released this week.
The vehicle’s forward collision warning system is heard sounding an alert just before the car comes to a stop, a Tesla representative confirmed to CNBNC. As the car brakes, the vehicle ahead is rammed into the guardrail.
A Tesla representative declined to comment on the authenticity of the footage.
According to Tesla’s website, its Autopilot feature helps the car sense what is in front of it by using “a redundant wavelength that is able to see through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.”
The latest update for the radar technology was released in September to all Teslas equipped with the original Autopilot technology.
The company is expected to roll out its Enhanced Autopilot, featuring self-parking and automatic lane-changing capabilities, before the end of the year.
But Tesla’s innovative technology hasn’t always proven reliable.
A Florida man was killed in June while riding in a Tesla Model S in self-driving mode. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the car failed to apply the brakes when a tractor-trailer turned in front of it.
Another Tesla Model S was involved in a January car crash in China. The Chinese government blamed an earlier version of Autopilot for the death of the driver after the car reportedly failed to brake before crashing into a slow-moving truck.
Despite these deadly incidents, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is standing by the technology and has made it a cornerstone of his company’s strategy.
“Autopilot has been used for more than half a century as a flying assistant in aircraft,” Musk told reporters in an October press call. “It does not represent self-driving any more than an auto-piloted aircraft represents self-flying.”
Musk also announced in October that all Tesla cars “from here on out” would be equipped with the hardware needed to go completely driverless.
“The foundation is laid for cars to be fully autonomous at a safety level we believe to be at least twice that of a person, maybe better,” Musk said.
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