Not all heroes wear capes. How many of you have heard that saying? In this Autopilot 1.0 test (firmware 8.1), YouTube users Kman and his associate Mike Anthony test out how efficient Autopilot is at avoiding cyclists…by placing Mike on a bike while a Model S is driven at him at various speeds.

This Autopilot test was a response to an article written by Heather Knight that claims Tesla Autopilot will kill bikers (we wrote about that here). The test was performed to disprove the notion that Autopilot acts erratically and will hit (and kill) bikers.

The test, which enabled Autopilot and Autosteer at all times, involved these variations:

  • 18 mph (29 kph) vs. human on bike perpendicular to the car
  • 25 mph (40.23 kph) vs. human on bike perpendicular to the car
  • 25 mph (40.23 kph) vs. stationary bike facing the oncoming car
  • 25 mph (40.23 kph) vs. bike traveling in the same lane as the car
  • 30 mph (48.28 kph) vs. bike traveling in the same lane as the car
  • First of all, Mike is one brave soul. Regardless of how effective Autopilot is, a car coming straight at you is a scary sight. So props to Mike for willingly performing as a human crash test dummy.

    Second, Kman notes that while Autopilot is not a fully autonomous system, it has a remarkable collision detection system:

    “The switch to 8.x firmware, where Tesla used new programming to process the radar information, dubbed ‘enhanced radar’, brought Autopilot up to where we’d expect and able to detect humans and most large animals (dogs, deer etc).

    I’d need to say the only way Autopilot will kill bikers is if the driver of the car is drunk, completely distracted (Mis-Using Auto-pilot as if it were Full Autonomous) or asleep. Used as designed, it will SAVE lives.”

    Ah yes, but are you taking human idiocy into account? There’s a lot of it, you know. As an added bonus, here’s a video from Mike’s point of view:

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