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Tesla Autopilot senses crash before it happens, automatically stops car (VIDEO)
My fervent wish for humanity is to rid the world of human drivers. So I guess you could say that my fervent wish for humanity is to be replaced with robots (Westworld was a heartfelt romantic comedy, right?). My hopes and dreams gleamed a little bit brighter today when I saw this video of Tesla Autopilot in action on a highway in The Netherlands.
In a video uploaded by Hans Noordsij, a dashcam fitted onto a Tesla Model X captures a collision on a high-speed separated highway. The car begins audibly beeping, and while most of us sad poor people would assume that's because the driver's Check Engine light has come on for no reason, we see two vehicles ahead of the Tesla suddenly crash. Or maybe not so suddenly, because the beeping we heard was the Tesla Forward Collision Warning system, which sensed the SUV ahead of the highway coming to a sudden stop. But the two vehicles don't collide until after the Tesla's automatic braking system kicks in, and a pileup is avoided.
In 2015, 35,092 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, the highest rate in 50 years. It's hard to know how many people this kind of autonomous driving technology could save, but worldwide the numbers could quickly approach millions. There seems to be little barrier with getting sensor technology into cars and into the market, but without a major shift in the petroleum-based economy or a massive government buy-back program, regular-old death traps will continue to rule the roads for decades. In the meantime, hopefully you have the luxury of paying for safety (or hiding in your bunker, awaiting our robot overlords).