Tesla’s Autopilot Takes On Dangerous Mountain Road In Australia
Nash, also known as “Tesla in the Gong,” shared a video yesterday on his YouTube channel about his experience testing Tesla’s Autopilot on a dangerous mountain road. Nash wanted to see how many times he would have to disengage Autopilot while driving on the Macquarie Pass. The Macquarie Pass is located in New South Wales, Australia, and is an eight-kilometer-long section of the Illawarra Highway as it passes through the Macquarie Pass National Park.
On the website Dangerous Roads, it’s noted as a very steep roadway with a large number of hairpin bends with corners that are dipped or humped in the middle. The website also pointed out that most of the road is flanked by a rock or earth bank on one side and a drop on the other side — not a road to speed or lose your focus on.
In his video, Nash explains that this is Autopilot, not Tesla’s FSD Beta, as FSD Beta is not in Australia yet. He’s also keeping his hands on the wheel ready to take over any time Autopilot disengages. There are a few areas where Autopilot gets too close for comfort to the banks or the side of the road, but Nash monitored and took over each time Autopilot disengaged. On the 12th time Autopilot disengaged, Nash noted that he took over.
“That was a little unnerving so I took the car out of Autopilot,” he said as they passed another twist in the winding road. Nash also encouraged any fellow Tesla owners who want to test the Macquarie Pass for themselves to be safe. “This is not autonomous driving, so you need to be in control. My hands are on the steering wheel at all times. I’m watching the rear mirrors and the side view mirrors over and over again.”
In one part of the road, the centerline disappears and Autopilot thinks it’s a single lane. However, the center lane reappears just in time for a large bus to come around the curve in the opposite lane. Nash immediately took the car out of Autopilot and said that he wasn’t taking any chances with the large vehicles.
Part of the pass is an ancient rainforest, which Nash described as a gorgeous spot for bush walks. There’s even a small waterfall along the pass and Nash pointed out there are plenty of waterfalls along this road. In another instance where the centerline disappears, Nash has to take over since there are quite a few cars in both lanes. As the traffic cleared out, Nash tried to turn on Autopilot, but since there was no centerline, it wouldn’t turn on.
Nash plans to do a Part 2 in which he tests Tesla Autopilot on the Macquarie Pass at night.
What will be even more interesting is comparing these runs to tests with FSD once it comes to Nash’s car in Australia.