Tesla’s focusing on its work on autonomous driving as a huge potential gain for driver safety, but a video from a Tesla Model S P85D shows that some current features not related to self-driving are actually already helping prevent accidents.
Tesla owner Jason Hughes captured a narrow miss in his car using a rear-mounted dash cam, showing the moment a Prius coming up from behind clearly didn’t notice that he’d stopped to turn left into a parking lot.
The distracted Prius driver realizes late that he’s going to plow into the Tesla, and makes a turn toward the curb to avoid it. But by the time he’s reacted, the P85D is actually already clear of the danger zone, something Hughes attributes to his car’s instant acceleration, which comes from its electric motors’ ability to provide torque instantly, unlike in a fossil fuel-burning vehicle.
Hughes says he got back up the posted speed limit shortly after this clip ends, which gives you a sense of just how fast the P85D can accelerate. My own car definitely wouldn’t have fared as well in the same situation.