Drone Footage Of Tesla Making Unprotected Left Turns Is Seriously Terrifying

Image for article titled Drone Footage Of Tesla Making Unprotected Left Turns Is Seriously Terrifying
Screenshot: Chuck Cook

There’s been a lot of talk—and video footage—of Tesla’s Level 2 driver-assistance system, called either Autopilot or Full Self Driving Beta, making some seriously sketchy choices. Now we have another issue to add to the list: unprotected left turns.

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You can watch the full video on Chuck Cook’s YouTube channel, but this nine-minute video shows a side-by-side view of Cook behind the wheel, an overhead drone shot, and Tesla’s map feature.

It gets dicey. Here’s the clip:

As you can see, Cook lines his car up on a divided highway without a traffic signal during what seems to be a fairly busy time of day—something that wouldn’t exactly be uncommon in most urban or suburban areas. His car waits and waits for an opportunity to turn left between bursts of traffic.

The left turn isn’t a difficult one for most drivers. If a human were in charge, we’d likely put the pedal to the metal as soon as there was a break in traffic. But Tesla’s Level 2 driver-assist technology isn’t designed to do that.

Instead, the car just kind of waits in limbo until it deems the moment is right, which it will only do if it decides crossing is safe. So that means it just kind of... takes off. It doesn’t give Cook a warning. It just goes. And as you can see in the clip above, Cook doesn’t always deem it safe to do so, which means he needs to be on high alert to grab the wheel or hit the brakes. It kind of negates the whole purpose of it being a driver assistance program when the driver has to be more alert than normal.

This comes just after last week’s video showing the absolute chaos that’s going on with Tesla’s Full Self Driving Beta program.

DISCUSSION

By
Nextcar

Am I the only one bothered by the fact that the car is angled into traffic and the wheel is turned waiting for the opportunity to make the left turn?

Back in the stone age when I was trained as a human driver, we were told to keep the car straight and the wheel straight so if we were struck from behind we would not be pushed into oncoming traffic.