Tesla electric vehicle owners unhappy with the recent rounds of Autopilot updates will probably hold their peace after reading this report.
The Autopilot technology, more specifically its version 8.0 released last September has saved the passenger of a Tesla Model X vehicle from a potentially serious accident in the Netherlands.
The entire affair, which was spectacularly captured by the EV's dashcam, demonstrated how the technology was able to predict an accident, which happened several seconds later.
Autopilot Predicts Actual Car Crash
In the video shown below, Tesla's Autopilot's Forward Collision Warning can be heard alerting its passenger shortly before the actual accident. Note how the system issued the warning while the vehicles involved in the collision were still barreling along the highway without any issue at all.
The driver must have been momentarily confused when the alarm blared for seemingly no reason at all. He can be heard exclaiming in surprise when the accident finally occurred. After its alert, the Autopilot reportedly hit the brakes, keeping the car out of harm's way by a hair.
According to reports, no one died from the crash.
Autopilot Radar Update
Autopilot 8.0's increased danger detection capability can be attributed to the update that enabled its radar sensors to work in concert with the vehicle's visual sensors. This has addressed a previous Autopilot flaw, which confused a truck's broad side for a road sign. The error caused a fatal accident early this year.
The updated driver assistance system boasts of a more powerful machine learning technology so that its Tesla radars are able to work effectively with other sensors.
"The most significant upgrade to Autopilot will be the use of more advanced signal processing to create a picture of the world using the onboard radar," the Tesla team declared upon the firmware's release.
The advanced AI served to address the problem of using the radar system, which was prone to false alarms. This allowed the unlocking of up to six times as many radar objects and the capability to process tons of data to assemble a 3D picture of the world.
The insights from these technologies now inform the new Autopilot system so that it is more effective in navigating the streets and in protecting its passengers.
Of course, Autopilot still needs work. Even Elon Musk noted that there is no such thing as perfect safety. Specifically, Autopilot still struggles to detect soft bodies and while it can see big and dense objects, it will still struggle when it comes to the small ones.