Hazard detection and collision avoidance systems are becoming more widely advertised in modern automobiles, aiding the driver by slamming on the brakes if anything – or someone – gets in the way. Tesla, a company that has established its reputation for having cutting-edge technology in electric vehicles, has been at the forefront of this technology. But how far can these innovations take us? We already know they’re really good at keeping you from crashing into a wall or another car, but will they always save you from striking a pedestrian? What about domestic animals such as a medium-sized dogs or even a cat? They were put to the test by a YouTuber from the vehicle comparison site carwow.
Mat Watson drives around a track and slams into different (non-living) objects, such as a life-sized Elon Musk cardboard cutout, a stuffed kangaroo, and a taxidermy cat, to see if the Tesla Model 3 and Volvo V90 can cruelly destroy them. Both automobiles are equipped with reportedly best-in-class auto emergency braking systems, so let’s see how effective they are.
A forward-facing camera analyzes any obstructions in your path, while a radar system continually checks the road ahead and an integrated algorithm decides if the brakes should be used. Teslas in North America, however, are no longer equipped with radar as of May 2021, and instead employ “Tesla Vision,” which relies only on cameras and neural networks to detect threats. It’s uncertain if the Model 3 has complete Tesla Vision because it has a ’71 plate (September 2021 onwards) but is being delivered in the United Kingdom, which may have different timeframes than their North American equivalents.
Both cars performed admirably, as you can see in the video. Both the Tesla and the Volvo broke without colliding with one other, as well as avoiding a collision with Tesla Founder Musk. Then there were some more improbable stumbling blocks. A stuffed kangaroo was first in line, which is an essential factor if you are an animal-loving Australian. It also represents enormous creatures, which Musk has mentioned Teslas being capable of avoiding. The Model 3 avoids it once more, but the Volvo is unconcerned with animals and destroys it. This is concerning for the car’s safety because the kangaroo is roughly the size of a toddler, making it a difficult impediment to recognize.
From there, it’s all downhill, with both the Tesla and the Volvo flattening a Labrador-sized plush animal and a taxidermy cat without batting an eye. So, if you’re thinking that the next vehicle you buy would prevent dogs from wandering onto the road, the technology just isn’t there yet.