Tesla testing 'Mad Max' autopilot mode

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the Tesla Semi in November 2017 in Hawthorne, California.

    Story highlights

    • Electric car maker testing "Mad Max" autopilot mode
    • Prototype system is designed for heavy traffic

    (CNN)The futuristic film "Mad Max" is having a real-life moment, and those who drive in heavy traffic will understand why.

    Electric vehicle maker Tesla is trying out an aggressive "Mad Max" driving mode in its prototype autopilot feature, chief executive Elon Musk revealed Monday.
      The mode -- named after the post-apocalyptic 1979 Mel Gibson film -- is the highest setting of Tesla's blind spot detection system in its autopilot.
        The setting, which allows for a smaller distance threshold to nearby vehicles, is made for highways with heavy traffic -- like Los Angeles' notorious Interstate 405 during rush hour -- when changing lanes can be challenging.
        Musk responded to a Twitter user's creative image of a Tesla semi truck featured in a "Mad Max" dystopian setting with, "It's real."
        He tweeted a photo of Tesla's development-stage autopilot display, showing "Mad Max" mode beside the lower "Aggressive" and "Standard" settings.
          Musk, who reportedly owns multiple homes in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles, appears to be influenced by the city's snarling traffic.
          "We considered going beyond 'Mad Max' to 'LA Freeway' level, but that's too loco," he added in another tweet.
          In November, Tesla announced plans to enter the heavy vehicle market, starting with a semi truck to begin production next year. The Tesla Semi will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 20 seconds while carrying 80,000 pounds, according to the automaker, and can travel 300 to 500 miles in one charge.