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Tesla on Autopilot Might Have Been Involved In Pile-Up in Shanghai

It seems that Tesla Autopilot will also be under scrutiny in China. A Model 3 using the Level 2 ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems) rear-ended a BYD Song Pro DM, getting stuck underneath the SUV. According to Autohome, two other vehicles would also have been involved in the crash.
Tesla Model 3 on Autopilot lifts a BYD Song Pro DM from the ground 6 photos
Tesla Model 3 on Autopilot lifts a BYD Song Pro DM from the groundTesla Model 3 on Autopilot lifts a BYD Song Pro DM from the groundTesla Model 3 on Autopilot lifts a BYD Song Pro DM from the groundTesla Model 3 on Autopilot lifts a BYD Song Pro DM from the groundTesla Model 3 on Autopilot lifts a BYD Song Pro DM from the ground
The crash happened on January 24 at the Shanghai Inner Ring Road. The Chinese website stated that the Model 3 owner had activated Autopilot and set the distance from vehicles in front of their car to 1. It is the shortest one available on a scale that goes up until 7.

Autohome states that this scale is a measure of time, not of distance. When the BYD SUV had to stop suddenly, the Tesla sedan did not have enough time to brake, which might have caused the wreck. The situation is currently under investigation by the Shanghai police.

At this point, it is not clear if the car was using only Autopilot – which is basically an advanced cruise control – or Enhanced Autopilot – which has the Navigate on Autopilot function. Tesla also offers Enhanced Autopilot in China.

Even if it was just acting as a regular advanced cruise control, Autopilot could be questioned. Just imagine how this crash happened. For the Song Pro DM to have ended on top of the Model 3, the wreck would have had to be violent. If AEB (automatic emergency braking) acted, it was not enough to prevent the crash from being so rough. If it didn’t brake the car, it would be another failure on the Tesla Vision’s account.

Supposing Autopilot worked as it should, it is worth asking why Tesla offers an advanced cruise control level without enough time for the system to react. It may even be something that other automakers also do, which should deserve more attention. Any solution that provides safer cars and avoids pictures such as the ones on this page is worth considering.

 
 
 
 
 

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