Tesla is not using the 3D scanning (and very expensive) LIDAR units on its cars, but in some cases it can see even further that what you can actually see. Now we have a perfect example of the system that uses radar to see the car in front of the one you're following in action.
It's quite a violent accident - thankfully with no fatalities - and the key point is that the Model X alerted the driver and started to break even before you could see any problem down the road, by detecting that the car in front of the one it followed had come to a stop. Unfortunately the car in front wasn't a Tesla and wasn't able to stop in time, crashing violently into the back of the car and even toppling it a couple of times.
Though this may be expensive tech, just imagine how many people would be willing to pay "whatever" it took if it made the difference between saving their own lived (or their loved ones) or adding them to the statistics of the countless people dying senseless deaths on the road, each and every day.
Let's hope this sort of technology trickles down to even the more affordable cars soon, just like ABS and seatbelts did, in the past.
Original video, authorisation from the owner. Essential, no one could predict the accident but the radar did and acted by emergency braking. pic.twitter.com/70MySRiHGR— Hans Noordsij (@HansNoordsij) December 27, 2016