Will a Tesla Model 3 Kill a Real Cat, or Will Its Auto Emergency Braking System Prevail?

Tesla Model 3 6 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
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Active safety systems have gotten so good, they can now differentiate between human beings and large animals. In fact, Volvo’s Large Animal Detection, which is part of its City Safety system, will stop the car if it detects an impending collision with something like a horse or a moose.
Things get tricky when those animals shrink in size, to something about as big as a cat, or even a dog. The tech also won’t work if the large animal is partially obscured or if the contrast of the animal’s background is poor – this could cause the system to brake late or in some cases, not at all.

What about Tesla, you might wonder? Well, the EV giant already produces some of the safest cars in the world, constantly innovating and tweaking the software so as to make their rides smarter and better from all points of view.

Sounds good, but would a Tesla detect and stop in time if it suddenly came across a small animal? That’s exactly what Carwow’s Mat Watson wanted to find out, so he borrowed his mom’s Model 3 and off he went to perform this slightly troubling experiment. He also brought along a Volvo V90, for good measure.

What’s interesting is that while the dog in question was nothing more than a stuffed toy, the cat was actually real, as in a taxidermy cat. Feel free to cringe, because while it wasn’t a live animal, somebody still cared enough about it to preserve it this way.

Both cars performed admirably with regards to stopping in time to avoid hitting another vehicle or a pedestrian, and we could argue that Tesla’s Automatic Emergency Braking feature reacted quicker than the Volvo’s system. However, when it came to the dog and the cat, well, trust me when I say that no commentary is necessary. Hope you’re not squeamish.

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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
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Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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