According to a Tesla driver, the Autopilot system attempted to dodge a wheel that detached from a vehicle that had crashed ahead of them. The entire incident was captured on video via TeslaCam, which is an integrated dashcam system that utilizes Autopilot cameras to record the car’s surroundings in case of an accident. TeslaCam has recorded numerous extraordinary occurrences over time, including assisting law enforcement in capturing criminals. Additionally, it has exhibited some of Tesla’s safety features, such as the driver-assist capabilities fueled by Autopilot.
A recent TeslaCam video that has gone viral allegedly depicts Tesla Autopilot maneuvering the car to evade a rogue wheel that caused a frightening collision. The footage captures the Tesla driver trailing a vehicle that was flung several feet upward upon colliding with a detached wheel from a pickup truck in the adjacent lane. After sending the vehicle flying into the air, the wheel continued toward the Tesla vehicle, which can be seen swerving slightly to the right to avoid it.
— Anoop (@Anoop_Khatra) March 25, 2023
According to the Tesla driver, it was the Autopilot system that performed the maneuver to prevent driving into the wheel. Tesla’s Autopilot system has various features that utilize automation to prevent accidents or minimize their impact, such as Automatic Emergency Braking. However, questions have been raised about the system’s ability to detect smaller objects on the road, as in this case. It is crucial to keep in mind that Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving packages are driver-assist technologies that always require the driver’s attention and readiness to take control at any moment. These features are not fully autonomous and should not be utilized without active attention from the driver.
While responding to a Twitter post about Tesla’s rollout of V11.3.3, Elon Musk explained that FSD Beta is pretty close, though another round of refinement is needed. “It’s close. One more round of refinement needed,” Musk wrote. When asked for more details, the Tesla CEO explained his tweet. “Still a few legacy NNs using single cam, single frame that needs to move to surround video,” Musk wrote. Musk’s comments highlight the hard work that Tesla has put into making Autopilot as capable as possible. If Musk’s statement is accurate, then it would seem like Autopilot and FSD’s full use of surround video is indeed at hand. This should pave the way for more substantial improvements to the capabilities of Autopilot and FSD. FSD Beta V11.3.3’s release notes suggest that the update was focused on bug fixes. Despite this, Tesla appears to have hit gold somewhat with V11.3.3, as numerous FSD Beta users have posted positive reviews of the update.