Those nine lives might come in handy.
If you weren't paying attention to the road and encountered a small cat, would your Tesla slam the brakes before it's too late? One car enthusiast decided to find out in a new experiment filmed and posted this week to his channel CarWow on YouTube.
The 12-minute experiment has just under half a million views and includes two vehicles — a Tesla Model 3 and a Volvo V90. Both are known for their automatic safety features that include braking for obstacles when the driver isn't paying attention, so host Mat Watson tested them both against another car, a pedestrian, and several sizes of animal.
"What I'm gonna do is test out the automated breaking system on this Tesla to see exactly what it's designed to recognize," Watson said while standing on the professional closed course designed to simulate an urban environment. "Will the Tesla kill Elon? We're gonna find out."
Watson drove both vehicles at a foam Model 3, and both braked in time. The same happened when he tried to drive straight into a cardboard cutout of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk himself. While the cars passed with flying colors, Watson noted that the Tesla braked sooner and left less distance between the car and the obstacle. However, the Volvo tightened his seat belt while braking to prevent Watson from hitting his head on the seat and kept his body relatively still, but the Tesla didn't.
The Tesla did identify a rather large kangaroo stuffed animal and brake to avoid hitting it, but both cars failed to brake for smaller animals like a stuffed dog and taxidermy cat.
So yes, your Tesla will probably run over a cat without auto-braking if you aren't paying attention. And if it does auto-brake, pressing the accelerator down will override the system, as Watson demonstrated by zooming over a cardboard cutout of Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.
For cats, people and cars alike, don't rely on auto-braking system. Keep your eyes on the road!
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