A Tesla owner has posted dashcam video showing his car avoiding a deer standing in the road at the last second.
The owner claims autopilot saved him from having a "very bad day," referring to the fact that without Autopilot, his car would have hit the deer at highway speeds.
While Tesla's most basic Autopilot and safety features are standard in the car, the company recently started charging ,000 for its most expensive autonomous driving software package.
What Happened: The video shows about 10 seconds of footage where the road ahead looks clear. At around the 12-second mark, a deer is suddenly visible. With not enough time to brake and traffic behind, the Tesla hits the brakes and seemingly dodges the deer at the last second by swerving into the opposite lane. After this, either the car or human correct the steering to enter back into the proper lane.
All Tesla vehicles built within the last few years are surrounded by cameras that are capable of always recording. As long as the owner of the car inserts an SSD or SD card, the car is always recording everything happening around it, ready to be saved by the user in case of such an incident.
The car can also be set up to continuously record when parked and sound an alarm if the car is tampered with.
While Tesla vehicles have been seen doing impressive avoidance maneuvers in the past, this footage alone does not prove that Autopilot was enabled. There is no labeling on Tesla's dashcam footage, so there is no way to know if Autopilot was engaged, what speed the car was traveling, the date or any data besides what's seen in the video.
Tesla Model 3 and Y vehicles do have an internal camera that has view of the driver, but this camera had not yet been enabled by Tesla at the time this video was uploaded.
Benzinga's Take: Tesla vehicles are known for their impressive safety features such as emergency braking, lane departure avoidance and even dodging cars on a collision course with the Tesla.
But while videos of Teslas dodging small and large animals in the road have been posted, nothing more than inconclusive dash cam footage has been presented. For the full story, an in-car camera needs to be filming the screen of the Tesla to see if Autopilot was really activated — and at what point the driver took control.
Photo courtesy of Tesla.
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