Tesla CEO Elon Musk has always touted his company’s Autopilot software, explaining that it exists to save lives and can predict accidents before anyone sees them coming. And dashcam footage taken from the Netherlands yesterday shows Autopilot in action, as a Tesla traveling on the A2 highway avoids a nasty collision just one car ahead.
In the video, Tesla’s Autopilot feature activates the brakes as a red hatchback barrels into a larger, black SUV, which flips over and goes tumbling down the highway for several yards. The Tesla’s Forward Collision Warning feature sounds an alarm, alerting the driver of danger before anyone had time to react. The man operating the car, Hans Noordsij, uploaded the footage to Twitter, explaining that Autopilot took over the car before he was able to pump the brakes himself. Although a pretty dramatic accident, Noordsij explained that the people driving the SUV escaped from their overturned vehicle without any major injuries.
In September, Tesla rolled out its newest Autopilot update, writing in a company blogpost that "the most significant upgrade to Autopilot will be the use of more advanced signal processing to create a picture of the world using the onboard radar." Through a combination of radar detection and visual sensors, Tesla is streamlining Autopilot, and it appears to be paying off.
Although a product of trial and error that’s had its fair share of hiccups, Tesla’s Autopilot has been a proven lifesaver, and not just with traffic accidents: Earlier this year, a Missouri man claimed that the semi-autonomous driving system transported him to the hospital during a life-threatening emergency.
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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.