Video Shows Tesla Model Y Autopilot Avoiding Coal-Rolling Ram Diesel Pickup

 Fully autonomous cars still appear to be a good way off in the distance, but  Autopilot has proven to be a more tangible reality for now. I think most of us can agree; watching Tesla and others working so hard to figure this out has been pretty amusing – remember the autonomous racecar? Brilliant. This video of a Tesla Model Y using autopilot to avoid a trolling Ram Diesel trying to “coal-roll” (or also known as “rolling coal”) the EV is pretty amazing and shows how much closer we are getting to a really useable autopilot system. 

This Tesla Model Y refuses to get coal-rolled by Ram Diesel

InsideEVs shows a Tesla Model Y video being trolled by a big, smokey Ram diesel truck. The Tesla Model Y’s built-in cameras captured the whole event and forced us to ask the question, “did the autopilot intentionally avoid the diesel smoke?” 

What is “rolling coal?” 

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Rolling-coal or coal-rolling (depending on where you’re from) is the childish and stupid act of illegally (in most states) modding a diesel truck to emit a thick plume of black smoke when it gets hard on the throttle. This is common for knucklehead diesel truck owners to show off or intentionally do to another car to punish them. In this particular case, the Ram driver seemed to troll the Tesla owner by showing how toxic the truck was? I’m really not sure what the point was, but it feels again to saying outdated and offensive terminology intentionally to get a rise out of people and reject “PC culture.” 

Was it the driver or the autopilot that refused to be coal-rolled?

White Tesla Model Y parked in the road
Tesla Model Y | ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images

It is hard to say from the video. Most likely, the autopilot feature can’t detect smoke, but instead, the driver said “not today” and refused to get coal-rolled by the silly truck driver. Even though I have my doubts about the autopilot being capable of this, the video uploader, Tesla tech, posted this about the clip, “Amusing Tesla Cam video that shows how autopilot avoids Angry Ram pickup rolling coal. Model 3, Model Y, S & X come with Autopilot & Dashcam. The dashcam should always be enabled to capture unexpected events. Coal rolling Ram repeatedly attempts to blast Tesla with soot but fails.”

Apparently, this is not very uncommon for Tesla owners 

InsideEVs has spent a fair bit of time covering the trolling of Tesla drivers by the like of the coal-rolling goons. Videos like this one suggest that some diesel truck owners have something against people who buy Teslas. Of course, this doesn’t mean all or even many truck drivers feel this way, but a few certainly do. In fairness, coal-rolling isn’t always something that’s done to another driver. If the truck driver was just hard on the gas, this can happen. It might seem intentional, but again, in this case, it surely seems that the Ram was trying to roll some coal on the Tesla. 

Either way, if it is true that the Tesla Autopilot system, in fact, “saw” the smoke and successfully avoided it, that would have pretty huge implications for the autonomous vehicle progress.