Watch Tesla’s autopilot stop an Uber driver’s head-on collision

October 29, 2015, 6:15 PM UTC
Tesla Motors Inc. Tests Self-Driving Technology
An employee drives a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S electric automobile, equipped with Autopilot hardware and software, hands-free on a highway in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015. Tesla started equipping the Model S with hardware -- radar, a forward-looking camera, 12 long-range sensors, GPS -- to enable the autopilot features about a year ago. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Jasper Juinen — Bloomberg via Getty Images

How do you narrowly avoid a nasty car crash without even touching the steering wheel or the brakes? Lucky for one Uber driver, his ride is a Tesla.

On a recent rainy and pitch-black morning in Seattle, Jon Hall had just dropped off a passenger and was cruising along the highway in his Tesla (TSLA) at nearly 45 mph when another car made a sharp U-turn in front of him, cutting him off. But Hall was using Tesla’s new autopilot feature, and his electric vehicle stopped immediately, saving him and his self-driving car from a potentially fatal head-on collision.

“I wasn’t even able to honk the horn before the car came to a stop,” Hall wrote in an online discussion of the video of the incident, which he posted on YouTube, saying, “I did not touch the brake. Car did all the work.”

The video was captured on Hall’s dashboard camera, though it does not include sound because he had disabled audio while driving Uber passengers in order to comply with Washington privacy laws. (“I screamed, honked, and yelled,” he explains.) Watch the full video of the autonomous vehicle’s feat here:

Updated with the following comment from a Tesla spokesperson: “Safety is a top priority at Tesla, our cars are the safest on the road. The active safety systems in Model S help avoid accidents and its electric architecture protects occupants when accidents do happen.”

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