A video shared by Jon Hall on YouTube shows a close call this Tesla’s owner had with another vehicle as they tried to change lanes, all captured by the BlackVue dashcam. The Tesla was on autopilot until the driver disengaged it at the last second (the beeping sound) to avoid collision.
A video sparking debate
The video has sparked much debate in the comments section, with commentators at times siding with the uploader and at times blaming him for not slowing down earlier. We actually cannot know for sure what would have happened if the driver had not braked and disengaged autopilot.
This video is a proof that even though Tesla’s autopilot can often predict or prevent accidents about to happen (one of such instances was also caught on BlackVue), the technology itself is still in its early stage and we need to be vigilant no matter what. As fast as AI and technology evolve to improve vehicle safety, there are always edge cases that a computer may not be prepared for. In this case, the lane on which the Tesla was driving was clear. Based on this fact only, it was OK to maintain speed, and the autopilot did not draw the conclusion that the cars slowing in the adjacent lane could be an indication of possible danger.
Human vigilance required
In the end it’s human input that might be deciding factor in such situations. This will remain especially true as long as there are human drivers.
Hopefully, this case might contribute to further strengthening the AI that governs Tesla’s autopilot.
You can watch the video by clicking the thumbnail above or by clicking HERE.