The next time you see a Tesla on the road, you might want to let it pass before you think about crossing the street. One report is now saying that although the Tesla autopilot program can recognize a pedestrian, it doesn’t bother to stop when it detects it.
This is exactly what KmanAuto realized when they decided to see if the Tesla Model S would stop at the sight (or the detection) of a pedestrian. They conducted three tests with the help of their friend Mike Anthony, who had graciously volunteered to be their “guinea pig.”
The first set of tests was done by utilizing the center sensors on Model S bumper using Tesla’s Summon feature. Normally, Summon is used by Tesla owners to have their car park in or pull out from the garage on its own. Previously, a Tesla owner even discovered that Amazon’s Alexa can also be used to work in conjunction with Tesla’s Summon mode.
For this test, Mike was asked to stand in front of the car as the Model S was summoned forward. With the Summon feature engaged, the car was said to have exactly stopped 12 inches from Mike.
Meanwhile, the car was backed up and summoned again to test its side bumper sensor. When this test was done, the car did its best to drive around Mike, although they ended up having to stop it from being summoned. In the next test with the Summon mode, Mike stepped directly in the car’s path as the Model S was being summoned. The Model immediately came to a halt.
Meanwhile, the second test involved Tesla’s Traction Aware Cruise Control. With Mike standing in front, the car only used an audible and visual warning that it was about to collide with an object. However, Tesla’s Collision Avoidance System did not stop the car even if it was close to impact.
On the other hand, the third test examined Tesla’s Collision Avoidance System while the car was using Autopilot. This time, it took longer for the vehicle to warn the drive of any possible collision ahead. To make matters worse, the system did not attempt to slow down or stop the car. In other words, if the driver hadn’t re-engaged the wheel, the car would have easily hit Mike.
For the record, KmanAuto said that they had arranged the tests with “pre-determined situations planned if the vehicle did not stop.” Tesla is yet to comment about these tests.