Elon Musk said in April lidars are “a fool’s errand,” and that Tesla vehicles could rely mostly upon cameras. But there are also many complaints about the quality of images when sunlight hits them directly – such as in this accident in Paris. It seems sunlight can explain why Autopilot almost hit a temporary concrete barrier. Again.
Scott Kubo shared the video above on his YouTube channel. He did not say in which highway that happened on the description, but the images show it was in San Diego, more precisely at CA-75 S, a little before Coronado Bridge at 5:41 PM.
We just don’t know the exact day in which this happened, but it must be recently. The video publishing occurred on November 8.
What Kubo stresses is that his car is a Tesla Model 3 with AP 2.5 hardware and V10 (2019.32.12.1) software. He wants Tesla to get in touch to see what happened and try to perfect Autopilot. He even thinks Tesla already had that sorted because of an accident that took place in February 2017.
Reddit user u/u_- shared these images of his car after the accident, but he did not know another driver had recorded it with a dashcam. Here’s the complete video:
Luckily, Kubo is a responsible and careful driver. He is aware that Autopilot can be a great tool when used correctly, but that it is still far from perfect. As Smart Summon, Tesla’s status for it is beta testing, even if it is already available for customers.
Apparently, Autopilot still does not handle this sort of obstacle accurately. Probably due to dusk and sun glare confusing the cameras. Or even due to direct light on the front cameras. Would that happen if Autopilot had lidars? Is there a cheaper and more energy-efficient device to help avoid this apart from relying on cameras?
To reach full-self driving ability, either Tesla is working on better cameras or in something to replace lidar. We’ll see when Musk and Tesla finally deliver autonomous cars. They have promised to be the first to do so.
Autopilot follows lane lines towards temporary concrete barrier on highway. V10 (2019.32.12.1) Tesla Model 3 with AP 2.5 hardware.