Thursday, May 26, 2016

Model S adaptive cruise control crashes into van in Switzerland

Chris was driving in traffic on the Swiss motorway A1 from St. Gallen towards Winterthur while having adaptive cruise control activated when he suddenly crashed into a stationary van parked on the left lane with its hazard lights on.
Chris admitted he could have reacted sooner to avoid collision but "when the car slows down correctly 1000 times, you trust it to do it the next time too... In normal operation, the AP slows down as soon as another car puts one wheel on the lines to your lane." People commenting on his video questioned if autopilot was even on but Chris insisted that traffic aware cruise control and autopilot were active before the collision, reiterating that autopilot "did hold the line pretty well, but traffic cruise control decided to accelerate. And then automatic emergency braking did not kick at all." adding "the forward collision warning turned on way too late, it was set to normal warning distance". Chris was driving not more than 13mph when AP accelerated to 16mph before he hit the brakes.

Fortunately for Chris the collision left him with a slight shock only, however the damage left is a hefty $4,000 worth or repair, adding "The whole front of the car needs to be replaced, including a parking sensor and a steel beam."

[UPDATE] Unfortunately Chris has since then set the video to private. However someone on Reddit managed to salvage a GIF of it.

Tesla Europe informed him that "all systems worked as expected". However Chris disagrees.

It's worth noting that the Model S does state in its owners manual that cruise control cannot detect all objects when driving over 50mph: "Traffic-Aware Cruise Control can not detect all objects and may not brake/decelerate for stationary vehicles, especially in situations when you are driving over 50 mph (80 km/h) and a vehicle you are following moves out of your driving path and a stationary vehicle or object, bicycle, or pedestrian is in front of you instead. Always pay attention to the road ahead and stay prepared to take immediate corrective action. Depending on Traffic-Aware Cruise Control to avoid a collision can result in serious injury or death. In addition, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control may react to vehicles or objects that either do not exist or are not in the lane of travel, causing Model S to slow down unnecessarily or inappropriately."


  1. What the hell use is it, then?

    1. Flawed though it might be, the Tesla Traffic-Aware Cruise Control has a safer driving record than human driving. If you combine the Traffic-Aware Cruise Control with an attentive driver, you get the safest combination!