Imagine walking into a new car showroom and having the sales rep give you following pitch:
You look like a good family man … the type of person who wants a car that protects his family in all driving situations. What would happen to that lovely wife and your cute little kids if your current car was … let’s say … hit by a UFO? My friend, for the safety of your loved ones, you need to put them in this new Tesla equipped with Autopilot 8 … the only car on the road guaranteed to avoid UFOs.
Believe it or not, that’s one of the selling points of Autopilot 8, the latest version of Tesla Motor's driver-assist technology for the Model S and Model X Tesla cars. Don’t believe me? Here’s a quote from the release notes describing the new upgrade to the onboard radar system.
The net effect of this, combined with the fact that radar sees through most visual obscuration, is that the car should almost always hit the brakes correctly even if a UFO were to land on the freeway in zero visibility conditions.
This is the first time Tesla’s Autopilot will use radar as its primary sensor for braking. The software has been improved to nearly eliminate false positives – a previous serious problem. It “sees through” objects by bouncing the radar off of the road surface, barriers and other objects to get the signal around obstructions in front of the car, as well as through visibility killers like fog, rain and snow.
Back to the UFOs. Tesla says the improved radar system is best suited for detecting large or metallic objects … so you’re safe if the UFO is a flying saucer but you’re on your own with little glowing orbs.
Many fans of Nikola – the first Tesla – believe he invented, patented and possibly even attempted to built a flying saucer. What would happen if a Tesla flying saucer met with a Tesla Model X on Autopilot 8?
Depending on whether you have more faith in Nikola Tesla or Elon Musk, the flying saucer would most likely ascend vertically to avoid the car at the same time the car’s radar detects the saucer and applies the brakes in a manner that avoids a collision.
Which vehicle would YOU rather be in?