Would Autopilot have helped in deer collision?

Would Autopilot have helped in deer collision?

I left home at 5 AM to take my son camping. We were in our SUV traveling at 56 MPH (55 limit) on a pitch black farm road when a deer ran in front of us from the right. It struck the right front of the SUV and did considerable damage. Fortunately, the deer was killed instantly and didn't suffer and we were all right.

I have a non-AP Model S and I have considered upgrading for the AP functionality. Given that the deer was invisible prior to running in front of us, I wonder if the collision avoidance functionality of AP would have helped in this situation. Any thoughts from AP users?

As an aside, I had to switch cars to continue the trip. I was amazed that I got everything from the SUV (Mercedes M-Class) into the trunk and frunk.

evaandmarty | 15 November 2015

I don't beleive any system can prevent or even reduce the deer strike, they come fast hell i've had them run right into the side of my car

70D-Tesla | 15 November 2015

phew....sorry to hear that...but glad you're allright!
Do you have any pictures to share?

sklancha | 15 November 2015

Thank God the deer damage was to your Mercedes and not your Tesla ;)

But back to your question. I don't know, but do look forward to the first video that shows the answer. I wouldn't be too fast to negate the possibility that the amount of deer collisions would be reduced (excluding those collisions where the deer runs into the side of a vehicle)

SnowFlake | 15 November 2015

Yes it will. Last week I was travelling with AP on the I70 from dayton to Indianapolis. My car slowed down and aboidmthe collision with the crossing deer also it amneuvered slightly to avoid he dead dear on the side roads. Both of them are not in the field of view of the headlights. Car can see from all the directions

SnowFlake | 15 November 2015

Sorry for Typo

JackClark | 15 November 2015

I've got your answer right here: no.

Back in September, before auto steering was released, I hit a deer with my AP Model S. Automatic Emergency Braking, which had been released at the time, did very little to prevent the impact. It may have helped me brake a fraction of a second earlier, but it didn't prevent the cosmetic damage to my car, nor the catastrophic damage to the deer.

Side note: please don't use auto steering on "a pitch black farm road" - it was designed to be used on divided highways.

LegalCounsel | 16 November 2015

I wish Tesla would add a night vision system to the Model S & X. Audi and BMW night vision systems can detect pedestrians and animals based on thermal heat and at least should do some preventive auto-braking maneuvers. Together with adaptive/intelligent LED headlights, the BMW system can highlight pedestrians etc. obstacles that are in the car's way by flashing the car's headlights at the target.

An intelligent night vision system would be very important in preventing moose and deer accidents if the night vision is connected to collision prevension (auto-braking / autopilot).


DanCar | 16 November 2015