A few days ago, a Tesla Model 3 on Autopilot crashed into a police car, and instantly the news went viral.
Occasionally the news of one car hitting another isn’t a matter of national news. However, this time, it was a Tesla Model 3 being driven on Autopilot mode, which easily explains the public outrage.
The news apparently got so big that politicians started tweeting, asking for a ban on Autopilot, despite it not being responsible for the crash.
Chris, from DirtyTesla, responded in his latest video why the Tesla Autopilot crashed into the cop car.
Tesla Autopilot Crashed: Not Why You Think
The first and the most obvious reason why the Tesla Autopilot crashed was that the owner admitted that they were checking on their dog in the back seat and not paying attention to the Autopilot.
Tesla Autopilot always says that the driver needs to be ready to take over the control at all times. You can’t expect Tesla Autopilot to do all the driving on its own; it needs to be monitored by a human.
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For the uninitiated, Chris explains the turn of events as they happened: “The cop car was on the road in a lane of traffic, they had stopped to help a disabled vehicle and that disabled vehicle was also still on the highway in a lane of traffic.
The Model 3 ran into the cop car and then proceeded to continue and also ran into the disabled car.”
Chris explains why this car accident was pretty much a “Driver issue” and not an “Autopilot issue.”
He further made it clear that Tesla uses radar to detect objects all around it. One drawback of using radar is that it can’t detect non-moving or stationary objects like light poles and boards.
The police car was stationary, and the Tesla Model 3, which struck it was also going at a speed which is above the recommended limit for the Autopilot to detect stationary objects.
The Tesla Model 3 manual clearly states that:
“Traffic-awareness cruise control cannot detect all objects and, especially in situations when you’re driving over 80 km/h, may not brake/ decelerate when a vehicle or object is only partially in driving lane or when a vehicle you’re following moves out of your driving path and a stationary or slow-moving vehicle or object is in front of you.”
Chris also shows that the Tesla Autopilot has recently started recognizing some stationary objects like stop signs, red lights, etc. Very recently, the Tesla Autopilot in his Model 3 easily avoided a traffic cone on the highway while going over 70 mph.
Another advantage of radar is that it can see more than a human can. The radar can spot a car braking two cars ahead of the driver and timely apply brakes to avoid any accident.
Chris has tons of videos on his channel in which he clearly shows why Tesla Autopilot under human supervision is the best way to drive a car.
“There is no such thing as a fully autonomous car yet,” even on Autopilot, you still have to be paying attention, and your hands need to be on the wheel, says Chris.