Tesla Model 3 Avoids Crash; Fast Driver Reaction Or Automated Braking System?

Automakers have yet to perfect semi-autonomous driving functions and the safety systems that come along with them, but this clip might just show that Tesla has done a good job with the automated emergency braking of the Model 3.

The video below starts off by showing a grey Model 3 waiting at a red light when out of nowhere, a black Chevrolet sedan speeds into view having run a red light.

The Chevy initially hits a white Audi A4 moving in the opposite direction to the Tesla before sliding across the road and sliding into a tradesman’s pickup truck, flipping it over.

Also Read: Possible Crash Avoided Thanks To Tesla’s Instant Acceleration

Through all the chaos, however, you may notice that the Model 3 came to a halt almost immediately. It might have been the driver hitting the brakes that saved the day, but since the reaction time is incredibly small, it’s very possible that it was the collision avoidance system that kicked in when it detected the chaos in front.

Moreover, it looks like the Tesla first applied the brakes when the Chevrolet was at least six feet away from crossing in front of it, which further reinforces the theory that the system was already scanning its surroundings and performing like it was designed to.


  • Dude

    After watching the video too many times I’m leaning towards driver reaction a little. Stopping instantly from <5 mph isn't crazy at all. The driver simply might've looked left or heard the sound of the first collision (the Tesla his the brakes at that moment) Though if the driver was looking forward the Chevy was only in the driver's monocular fov for a very short period.

    Also the driver of the Chevy should lose their license for a long time.

  • Craig

    I’m sure Tesla would love for you to think it was the car – but I’m not buying it. That said… I wonder what the car would do [if indeed it did anything at all] IF there was a car speeding up BEHIND it? [As people often do when the light turns green – even when their behind you]

  • Dennis James

    I really hope it was the car…we would all benefit from such a system.

  • TheBelltower

    On the Model 3, there are sonar sensors, 8 cameras and radar. The radar is the only sensor that could have the sight distance to have caught this. But since the radar is facing forward, it wouldn’t have seen this coming either. It was the driver.

    • Sébastien

      Could be the left side cameras, but here I’d bet it’s the driver

    • Andrewthecarguy

      I agree. I have never read of a side-viewing system that would apply the breaks.

  • john1168

    I say the driver braked and not the computer.

  • Bash

    It was the driver.

  • Mr. EP9

    Seems like driver reaction to me. Regardless, situations like these are exactly why it pays to keep your eyes on the road and remain alert.

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      Stay alert! Your country needs lerts.

  • disqus_SWe1pH5gM2

    He started late and slow. The angle doesn’t show how close the car was even.

  • lapirk

    its the driver. CMON

  • Shobin Drogan

    Most likely the driver, if you pause at 0:07 the model 3’s brake lights were on before the chevy was close enough to be in front of the tesla. At that sort of speed i don’t think even the best autonomous vehicles on sale atm could avoid that accident.

  • salamOOn

    only idiot could fly into the intersection at this speed 5 seconds after red light.

  • cronin

    I love Tesla, but this was clearly the driver hitting the brakes. Teslas are not currently capable of detecting and avoiding something like this. Waymo vehicles would be a different story and hopefully when full self driving is enabled it would have detected something like this as well.

  • Tim Manning

    Owner said it was the car allegedly.

    • cronin


      • Tim Manning

        Comment section of the YouTube video. That’s why I said allegedly 😛

        • cronin

          It looks like the owner of the Model 3 never commented on the video. At least, no one claimed it was their model 3. (At least the video linked to from this article)

  • Stephen G

    What’s with sleepy in the Tahoe?

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