With the promised Q3 market launch for the 2016 Tesla Model X full-size crossover edging ever closer, Tesla Motors is working hard to ensure that everything about the new luxury plug-in is perfect. From the on-board telematics system to those infamous falcon-wing doors and its powerful dual-motor drivetrain, Tesla engineers are busying themselves with exhaustive road testing and quality control procedures on a fleet of final pre-production prototypes.
Sometimes, that testing takes place in closed laboratories or Tesla’s own test track. Sometimes, that testing takes place on the public highway. When that happens, spy shots and sighting videos on YouTube inevitably follow.
Most just show a Model X being driven down the highway like any other car, but one video which caught our eye from last week was anything but, showing a Tesla Model X swerving around in the slow lane of California’s I280 as if its driver was either drunk or seriously distracted.
Either that, or more plausibly, the driver was testing a feature that Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] CEO Elon Musk says will be released in the near future in an over-the-air update for all Tesla owners with hardware compatible cars: lane keep assist.
In the video above, the Tesla Model X prototype slowly veers off the road onto the shoulder as if the driver is applying the slightest of pressure to the steering wheel. Shortly after its front wheel crosses the white line, the car appears to jerk back into its lane.
The car then does the same thing again multiple times in quick succession as it heads to an off ramp and disappears from view, each time correcting itself back into the correct lane.
Having used various lane-keep assistance systems over the years, we do note that the Model X seems to jerk back onto the correct path rather violently, but given it is still in pre-production engineering testing, we’re guessing that was one of the things Tesla was testing when this video was snapped.
Given Tesla hasn’t yet released the full specification list for the Model X and Tesla Ceo Elon Musk has promised at least three new features that don’t feature on any other Tesla car to date, it’s even conceivable that what we’re seeing here is a feature we don’t even know about yet.
Either way, it’s good to see Tesla putting its final pre-production vehicles through as many tests as possible ahead of the start of production later this year.
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