Mat Watson is not a name that needs any introduction to car enthusiasts around the world, and he now tested a Tesla in a unique and rather morbid manner and posted the whole recording to the channel CarWow on YouTube.
The 12-minute experiment has just under half a million views and stars two vehicles — a Tesla Model 3 and a Volvo V90. They are famous for their automatic safety features comprising braking for obstacles when the driver is not actively looking. Watson decided to test them both against another car, a pedestrian, and several sizes of animals.
“What I’m gonna do is test out the automated braking system on this Tesla to see exactly what it’s designed to recognize,” Watson said while standing on the professional closed course designed to simulate an urban environment. “Will the Tesla kill Elon? We’re gonna find out.”
Watson drove both vehicles at a foam Model 3, and both braked in time. He also drove straight into a cardboard cutout of Elon Musk himself. The cars turned out to be successful. However, Watson noted that the Tesla braked sooner and left less distance between the car and the obstacle. On the other hand, the Volvo tightened his seat belt while braking to prevent Watson from hitting his head on the seat and kept his body relatively still, but the Tesla didn’t.
The Tesla did identify a rather large kangaroo stuffed animal and brake to avoid hitting it, but both cars failed to brake for smaller animals like a stuffed dog and taxidermy cat.
Hence, your Tesla is most likely to run over a cat without auto-braking if you aren’t paying attention. And if it does auto-brake, pressing the accelerator down will override the system, as Watson demonstrated by zooming over a cardboard cutout of Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.
So, even if you are driving with the automatic features, you need to keep your eyes on the road!