He had just dropped off a customer when he was cut off by another driver.
“This guy decided to turn for it without seeing that I was approaching, not checking—kind of a common accident to get into. And before I could even react, because I was watching traffic to my right, the car stopped for me,” Jon Hall said.
How it works
While the self-braking technology has been around for a few months, Hall said he, along with many other Model S owners, got an overnight software update two weeks ago that allowed many more autonomous features.
“I’m not pressing the pedals. It’s maintaining my speed, and it’s centering me in the lane,” Hall said.
Hall took a camera crew for a ride in the car, demonstrating these features, including the ability to change lanes when the driver signals, but the car will not make the lane change if it senses something in its blind spot.
The car has built-in ultrasonic sensors, radars, and cameras to detect objects and movement in a 16-foot radius.
Khobi Brooklyn, a representative for Tesla Motors, told CBS News that they have been clear in communicating with customers about the intention of the features.
“We trust our customers, and we expect them to be responsible,” Brooklyn said.
Tesla Motors recommends drivers keep their hands on the wheel and pay attention to the road.
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Drivers can take control of the car at any time, and Hall said he only uses the features on highways, where lanes are more predictable.
While some wonder if there will be more accidents with autonomous vehicles, Hall said he believes driving will be safer.
“If the car is doing more of the mundane things, like keeping you in your lane, maintaining your speed, it kind of frees you up to pay attention,” Hall said.