Tesla swerves on Autopilot to avoid wrong-way driver on a highway

Incredible moment Model S Tesla swerves on Autopilot to avoid wrong-way driver on a dark North Carolina highway

  • Bret Peters claimed his Model S Tesla saved his life with the Autopilot feature
  • Peters was driving on Highway 49 in Cabarrus County, North Carolina when a wrong-way driver appeared 
  • Tesla quickly swerved to avoid the potential accident without prompt 
  • Autopilot allows the car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically in lane

A man says his new Tesla saved his life and stopped him from colliding with a wrong-way driver while using the Autopilot feature. 

Bret Peters of Cabarrus County, North Carolina, shared footage of the compelling moment he avoided a head-on accident while driving his 2020 Model S Tesla. 

Video of the incident shows Peters’ Tesla driving down Highway 49 in early morning darkness on February 27 when a car traveling the wrong way at 60mph comes barreling towards him. 

A 2020 Model S Tesla is being credited with saving a North Carolina man’s life by using the Autopilot feature

Suddenly, Peters’ Tesla swerves to the right to avoid danger and the other driver quickly swerves onto the grassy median.   

‘Today a car was coming the opposite direction in my lane of a divided highway. I was coming out of the country and darkness at 5:00 in the morning through the first stoplight of “civilization”,’ Peters wrote on Facebook. 

‘The car coming at me was masked by the cultural lighting and I didn’t see them until AFTER Autopilot hit the brakes and started steering away from the oncoming car.’ 

The Tesla suddenly swerves to the right when a wrong-way driver appears before resetting itself back into the correct lane 

Peters told Fox 46 he wasn’t even aware of the potential danger until his Tesla came to the rescue. 

‘I initially looked down to see what was going on with the car and why it was reacting or why it was braking. When I looked up I saw the vehicle in my lane and before I could even put my foot on the brake it had started changing lanes,’ he said.

Peters (pictured): ‘Technology is faster and more responsive and it’s paying attention even when you’re not’ 

The near-death experience has reminded Peters how dangerous it can be driving at night or in poorly lit areas.

‘It’s sobering how dangerous it is driving at night and I make that commute twice a day every day. It’s right at an hour each direction. 

‘That’s a lot of miles and a lot of time on the road and knowing that I have that safety feature is huge. 

‘Distracted driving is what’s killing people. This car is always watching. It knew that there was nobody in the lane to the right of me and started making that lane change to the right because it was already looking. It had been constantly looking.’

In November 2019, Bloomberg released survey of 5,000 Model 3 owners on Tesla’s high tech software features. 

Autopilot, a feature available on new Teslas, allow the vehicle to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within a lane. 

Although 13 percent said Autopilot had put them in a dangerous situation, 28 percent said it saved their lives.  

61 percent of surveyors were ‘very satisfied’ with Autopilot Safety and 42 percent felt ‘somewhat satisfied’ with Navigate on Autopilot Reliability. 

Pictured: a Bloomberg graphic that illustrates surveyors thoughts on the Autopilot feature in Model 3 vehicles 

One person wrote: ‘The car detected a pile-up in fog and applied the brakes/alerted driver and began a lane change to avoid it before I took over. I believe it saved my life.’ 

However, Tesla has received its fair share of disparaging media, including videos of cars narrowly missing highway medians and ignoring driver commands.  

In 2018, a Apple Inc. engineer was killed when his Tesla slammed into a concrete barrier in Silicon Valley while on Autopilot.

Tesla has continued to remind drivers that although Autopilot can handle certain navigation, drivers should always be alert and diligent behind the wheel.

Peters, a father and former state trooper, doesn’t let the negative press dissuade him from lauding Tesla’s safety features.  

‘Get over yourself. Technology is faster and more responsive and it’s paying attention even when you’re not,’ he said.

As features like artificial intelligence continued to permeate different sectors of society, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that companies who use the technology should be regulated. 

Musk tweeted that companies developing artificial intelligence should be regulated 

Musk’s opinion on the dangers of letting AI proliferate unfettered was prompted by a report published in MIT Technology Review about changing company culture at OpenAI, a technology company that helps develop new AI.

Elon Musk formerly helmed the company but left due to conflicts of interest. 

The report claims that OpenAI has shifted from its goal of equitably distributing AI technology to a more secretive, funding-driven company. 

‘OpenAI should be more open imo,’ he tweeted. ‘All orgs developing advanced AI should be regulated, including Tesla.’

In the past Musk has likened artificial intelligence to ‘summoning the demon’ and has even warned that the technology could someday be more harmful than nuclear weapons.

Speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AeroAstro Centennial Symposium in 2014, Musk described artificial intelligence as our ‘biggest existential threat’.

Elon Musk (pictured) has warned about the dangers of developing AI in the past, saying its akin to ‘summon the demon’ 

‘I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with artificial intelligence.

‘I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.’

He continued by likening the act of creating an AI to a horror movie. 

‘With artificial intelligence we’re summoning the demon. You know those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram, and the holy water, and … he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out.’

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