Elon Musk has spent the week talking up Tesla's autopilot systems, but it seems people are already big fans of the technology. One Tesla driver has credited the autopilot system with saving his and his family life.
A video released by Raghu Konka shows the dashcam view from his Model 3 when a small utility vehicle suddenly swerves into his lane.
The Tesla, which was in Autopilot mode at the time, reacts immediately avoiding the incoming car and accelerating to safety. Konka infers that if the autopilot mode wasn’t on, he is not sure he could have reacted quick enough to avoid a serious collision.
My Model 3 saved my family from a crash today. A pickup in my right lane suddenly jumped into my lane and see how this guy reacted. It is amazing.@Tesla@elonmusk .. can't thank enough. @teslaownersSVpic.twitter.com/LCyL3jynRw— Raghu Konka (@RaghuKonka) April 22, 2019
Driver assist has lifetime fans
Currently, Tesla's autopilot system is better classified as a superior version of ‘driver assist’ drivers are still required to maintain light contact with the steering wheel and focus on the road. However, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk says he is determined to relieve us all of the ‘tyranny’ of having to drive our own cars.
Tesla recently hosted its ‘Investor Autonomy Day’ which allowed select investors to test drive Tesla cars with the advanced Autopilot features that have not been released to the public. Elon Musk said at the event that not choosing a Tesla vehicle is like choosing to ride a horse.
Musk ready to go fully autonomous
He believes the company will have completed their self-driving technology by the end of the year and hopes that the regulations will be in place to allow fully autonomous Tesla on the road as soon as possible.
If they do achieve that Musk says he has plans to launch an Uber-like ride-sharing business that will allow Tesla owners to add their cars to a self-driving fleet.
These owners will be able to earn money from their cars without having to do anything. Musk says that could be anywhere in the vicinity of $30,000.
Tesla is leading the auto industry in self-driving technology and optimism but not everyone thinks that they are on the right track. Several well-publicized crashes have been attributed to the system, though Tesla has not been found to be at fault.
Musk is confident that despite the occasional bad piece of press, the Autopilot feature makes you safer.
"The probability of having an accident is 50 percent lower if you have Autopilot on. Even with our first version," he said.
"So we can see basically what’s the average number of kilometers to an accident – accident defined by airbag deployment. Even with this early version, it’s almost twice as good as a person."
Viewing the video today it seems like he is right.