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[Slashdot] - Tesla Model 3 Drives Straight Into Overturned Truck In What Seems To Be Autopilot Failure

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A viral video making the rounds on social media shows a Tesla Model 3 smacking into the roof of an overturned truck trailer. The crash took place on Taiwan's National Highway 1 and appears to be "caused by the Tesla's Autopilot system not detecting the large rectangular object right in front of it, in broad daylight and clear weather," reports Jalopnik. From the report: There's video of the wreck, and you can see the Tesla drives right into the truck, with only what looks like a solitary attempt at braking just before impact. For any human driver paying even the slightest bit of attention, this accident is almost an impossibility, assuming the driver had the gift of sight and functional brakes. Tesla's Autopilot system primarily uses cameras for its Autopilot system, and previous wrecks have suggested that situations like this, a light-colored large immobile object on the road on a bright day can be hard for the system to distinguish. In general, immobile objects are challenging for emergency automatic braking systems and autonomous systems, as if you use radar emitters to trigger braking for immobile objects, cars tend to have far too many false positives and unintended stops than is safe or desirable. News reports from Taiwanese outlets, clumsily translated by machine, do seem to suggest that the driver, a 53-year-old man named Huang, had Autopilot activated: "The Fourth Highway Police Brigade said that driving Tesla was a 53-year-old man named Huang, who claimed to have turned on the vehicle assist system at the time. It was thought that the vehicle would detect an obstacle and slow down or stop, but the car still moved at a fixed speed, so when the brakes were to be applied at the last moment, it would be too late to cause a disaster." Thankfully, nobody was seriously hurt in the accident. The takeaway is that regardless of whether Autopilot was working or not the driver should always be paying attention and ready to step in, especially since no Tesla or any currently-available car is fully autonomous.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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