How does the idea of a self-driving car strike you? Are you willing to actually put your life on the line when it comes to letting artificial intelligence lead you and your family on the road? Perhaps, as the autopilot feature continues to undergo testing by various factions who have an interest in this department. Tesla is one such company, and their brand new Autopilot system could have potentially saved a Norwegian family from suffering serious injuries or even death by avoiding a high speed car accident.
As Frank van Hoesel was driving his family back home after spending their time holidaying in Belgium, Frank’s dashboard camera which was installed on the Tesla Model X actually noticed footage of the car in front of his hitting another vehicle on the Autobahn in Germany. The dashboard video apparently capture a warning issued by the Tesla Model X even before the ill-fated vehicle in front of his hit the brakes. Unfortunately for the driver of the SUV in front of him, there was not enough time to react properly, ending up with a multiple automobile crash that saw the SUV perform an ominous flip, while another car veered to the side of the road. Hoesel even realized that his Tesla Model X slowed down without any intervention from him.
Hoesel shared with NBC News, "When it happened, when the other cars started hitting the brakes, I also started hitting the brakes. But then the car already was almost stopped. The car was quicker than I was."
Credit ought to be given where credit is due, and it is technology like this from Tesla that makes our travels on the road safer. Being different from regular human drivers, Tesla’s Autopilot system is not restricted by any kind of obstructive views. Rather, it will send out a signal and upon receiving that “ping”, the radar is able to figure out just where the car is ahead of the driver, as well as perform an analysis of the various automobile positions around the driver.
Thankfully, there were just minor injuries for those in the affected pile up after Hoesel checked up on them. Needless to say, this particular incident has increased Hoesel’s confidence in the Tesla Autopilot system, and he even admitted to relying on Autopilot for 80% of his drives ever since he picked up the Model X three months ago. Hoesel also thanked Musk for coming up with such technology, saying, "He's part of the reason that our car stopped, so…Well not part of the reason — he's the reason."
Tesla Motors has not reacted or responded to this reported accident, but you can be sure that the engineers who worked behind the Tesla Autopilot would be buzzing with excitement, happy that their hard work is starting to show some fruit on the road in real world examples. However, earlier this year, a man in Florida died after his 2015 Tesla Model S crashed while on Autopilot, failing to brake in time to avoid a tractor-trailer that turned left right in front on the highway. Tesla has since shared their thoughts on the matter while extending their condolences.