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Tesla Model S Collision Avoidance Human Test!

As with most everything entrepreneur Elon Musk touches, Tesla Motors is pushing the boundaries in the automotive arena. The Model S, Tesla’s flagship offering, is not only currently the quickest-accelerating production vehicle on the planet, its achieves that neck-snapping launch while creating zero harmful emissions. To say the least, Tesla is pushing the envelope!

One concept Musk and crew are beginning to really focus their efforts is autonomous driving. A key component of self-driving vehicles is obviously crash avoidance, which is what this video is testing. The testing starts off with some pretty basic – and very safe – driveway testing of the obstacle avoidance system when using the “Summon” function used to auto-valet your car to your location. The car passes these tests with ease, either stopping or steering around Mike, the willing human obstacle. However, when our test driver takes to the road to see how the system functions at speed, the results are not as impressive. First, testing the traffic-aware cruise control at a reasonable 18 MPH, Mike steps into the roadway and the Tesla simply beeps a warning to the driver, but does not brake or turn to avoid him. Then using the autopilot function, the same test is carried out, with the same result: Had the human driver not intervened, Mike would be a goner.

While the whole concept of vehicle autonomy is in its infancy and clearly has a lot of refinement left to undergo, the teams at Tesla are sure to be watching for tests like these to see how their systems function in real-world situations and can apply what they learn moving forward.