Tesla Autopilot helped a Model 3 owner safely navigate the highway during a harrowing FL rainstorm. The Tesla owner posted a short clip of the whole ordeal via TikTok. Tesla Autopilot may be deemed as unnecessary by some, but this particular Model 3 owner was thankful for it, proving that it isn’t just another fancy car feature. It’s a next-gen safety feature.
Based on Gabriel R.’s video, the FL rain was relentless. There was almost zero visibility from the driver’s perspective because of strong winds and heaving rainfall. It seemed the Tesla Model 3 owner could barely see the road. From a human perspective, Gabriel probably wasn’t able to see 12 ft. in front of him/her inside the Model 3. The naked eye was not very useful on this drive.
Luckily, Gabriel didn’t have to rely on just human eyes. The Tesla Model 3 has eyes of its own, thanks to its eight cameras, which provide a 360-degree field of view. The Tesla owner could also rely on the car’s radar and 12 ultrasonic sensors.
All of it came in handy during that FL rainstorm. It was able to detect cars driving ahead of it that Gabriel couldn’t see, or any human could see with the naked eye. For that trip, the Tesla Model 3 became the eyes for the driver, and it helped Gabriel navigate the highway safely.
According to the US Federal Highway Administration, over 5 million vehicle crashes occur each year on average, and 21 percent of car accidents—over 1.2 million—are caused by weather events. That number does not just include drivers on the wheel, but people killed and injured due to a car accident, whether they were passengers in the car or just people passing through the streets. Forty-six percent of weather-related car accidents occur during rainfall, 18 percent happen because of slow or sleet, and 3 percent are caused by fog.
Elon Musk and the Tesla team hope to reduce the number of car accidents in general with Autopilot. It certainly seemed to be the case for Gabriel’s Tesla Model 3. By successfully navigating through the highway, Autopilot ensured that Gabriel was safe as well as everyone else on the highway at the time.
Many overlook the significance of Autopilot or other autonomous vehicles and what they can offer, in terms of car safety. However, Tesla sees the value of future tech in cars.
“At Tesla, we believe that technology can help improve safety. That’s why Tesla vehicles are engineered to be the safest cars in the world. We believe the unique combination of passive safety, active safety, and automated driver assistance is crucial for keeping not just Tesla drivers and passengers safe, but all drivers on the road. It’s this notion that grounds every decision we make – from the design of our cars to the software we introduce to the features we offer every Tesla owner.” stated Tesla’s Safety Report.
Based on Tesla’s Q3 2019 Safety Report, the company has successfully reduced the probability of car accidents with its all-electric vehicle, thanks to Autopilot. It reported one accident for every 4.34 million miles when Autopilot was engaged, and one accident every 2.70 million miles without the self-driving feature. In comparison, the NHTSA’s reported the likelihood of a car accident occurring every 498,000 miles.
Tesla has stressed that people should work with technology for a better and safer driving experience. Tech, like Autopilot, is meant to be a resource for humans to use when applicable, not a replacement for the driver and human instinct.