Tesla autopilot warns of accident about to happen to the cars in front

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/28/tesla-autopilot-warns-of-accid.html

Next year’s autopilot model will include a blood pressure and cholesterol check. When it senses you are going to an unhealthy (are there healthy ones?) drive thru, your windows lock and the car speeds off.


Amazing. In the short time where a human driver’s response would be to mumble to his wife “that guy in the red car is driving like a moron” a little too late to do anything about it, the Tesla autopilot understands that fact immediately and takes action to prevent a pileup.


I think they could use this technology in Florida.


And if you sneak some in, it just rolls the window down and executes a few sharp turns to dislodge it.


I’m interested in how the Tesla saw that coming. Did the sensors spot that the 4WD was in front of the overtaking car and moving slower when there was only about a foot of the lead car visible? If so, those things have got better sensors and situational awareness than I gave them credit for.


And a computer does what any decent driver paying attention should have been able to spot?


Yep. 20 years from now humans won’t be allowed to pilot on the highways, I am pretty sure. Fine with me, I’ll be old and need a nap.


could be this, using fancy signal processing to use bounced radar waves to look below the car in front

a Tesla will also be able to bounce the radar signal under a vehicle in front - using the radar pulse signature and photon time of flight to distinguish the signal - and still brake even when trailing a car that is opaque to both vision and radar

I’m sure if you were actually in the Tesla more of the 4WD would have been visible. But I do assume it (the Tesla) was calculating the angle/trajectory or the red vehicle and calculated it couldn’t make the lane change. I wonder what would have happened if something was behind the Tesla that couldn’t stop as quickly, like a tractor trailer. Would the Tesla have taken that into consideration and reduced speed more slowly? Or if the driver in the red car had swerved harder and made the change, since the Tesla did start braking before the moment of impact.

Either way all this nanny tech will be mandatory because insurance costs lives…


You guys are way over-selling this. The tesla did not predict that the red car would wreck. It saw that the SUV in front of the red car was stopped. If you watch the video you can see the SUV yourself before the impact. Its just that that tesla’s radar instantly measures the speed of the SUV and decide that regardless of what the red car does its time to start braking.

FWIW, whenever I am stopped on a freeway I frequently flash my brake lights for exactly this reason - to help any approaching drivers notice that hey traffic is stopped in the middle of the road.


here lies a privet hedge… however

This video is now private.

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It’s true, it’s so true.


I have been known to turn on my flashers for exactly the same reason. It says “Dumbass behind me - I’m stopping or at least decreased my speed more than you’d think I should have.”


Driver is an idiot.

Computers are becoming more able to synthesize multiple inputs and derive appropriate assumptions in real-time similar to humans.



Which is completely awesome. A good driver will do this when possible, but on a typical straightaway it’s not an option unless one has rather abnormal anatomy.


Could go lower tech on this one.
Tesla could install an arduino based hand that comes out of the steering wheel that slaps the morsel of food out of your hands.


Hazard lights FTW!
Also https://www.amazon.com/Vehicle-Flasher-Module-Universal-Motorcycles/dp/B00FADDOL4


Sure they are becoming better at it, but the number of people I encounter on a daily basis while I’m driving who are talking on the phone and in general not paying a half an ounce of attention to the 4000 lbs vehicle they are piloting is absurd. Most of the little fender benders that happen in stop and go traffic wouldn’t occur if someone was paying attention. This accident might not have happened either. Either the person in the red car over estimated their ability or didn’t even notice the SUV stopping/stopped and tried to avoid it. If it was the latter then it was simply a case of not doing your job as a driver.