Tesla Autopilot gracefully avoided a road obstruction in China, revealing just how far the driver-assist system has come. The short but well-executed maneuver may not be recognized as an astounding feat for Autopilot, but compared to other driver-assist systems, it was quite an advanced move.
A video in China surfaced, showcasing Tesla Autopilot’s advanced driver-assist capabilities. In the short clip, the Tesla can be seen driving through a dark road in what seems like a highway in China.
As the driver continued down the road, the car detected an object a few meters in front of it. The Tesla proceeded to execute a lane change, then returned to its original lane once it passed the object. The whole maneuver took seconds for the Tesla to perform, and it was a great example of the company’s continued efforts to improve its safety features.
Tesla's youngest vehicle, the Model 3, received 5-star safety ratings from established organizations in North America, Europe, and Australia. The list includes safety organizations like the NHTSA, Euro NCAP, and the IIHS.
The Model 3 had high scores in several—if not all—of the tests conducted by the NHTSA, Euro NCAP, and the IIHS. In particular, Tesla’s affordable sedan usually scored relatively high in the driver-assist system category, which considers maneuvers like the one executed by a Tesla vehicle in China.
Systems that assist drivers are usually put in place to prevent accidents or collisions. The IIHS gave the Model 3 a Superior rating in the driver-assist category after successfully passed two collision tests. The safety organization drove the Model 3 towards and unmoving object at 12mph and 25mph. Tesla’s sedan detected the obstacles in its path both times and automatically stopped in front of the obstructions on the road by braking.
The Tesla Model 3 received 2.5 out of 3 points in a similar test conducted by the Euro NCAP. Overall, the Model 3’s scored 94% in the Euro NCAP’s Safety Assist category, which includes tests for Speed Assistance, Seat Belt Reminder, Lane Support, and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) Inter-Urban.
Credit: Euro NCAP
Based on the usual tests conducted by safety organizations like the IIHS, AEB tests are quite standard for vehicles with driver-assist systems. However, AEB tests only measure how quickly a car’s driver-assist system can prevent a collision by stopping completely or support braking.
The video of Tesla Autopilot in action from China reveals that the EV automaker’s car can do more than stop or decelerate. Tesla’s driver-assist system can detect an obstacle and avoid it, without disrupting the drive much-like an actual person would in the same situation. So the video isn’t just showing how gracefully Autopilot can execute such a maneuver, but also how much more it can assist the driver.