Tesla’s Autopilot system has been the subject of many criticisms over the past few months after a series of Tesla accidents. In one of the incidents a man was killed after his Autopilot system could not distinguish between the side of a tractor-trailer and the sky. Later in the investigation, it was found that the man had been watching movies on a portable DVD player. It should be noted that while the Tesla vehicles do have a large touchscreen in the dashboard, the system does not allow for media consumption while in motion.
These types of accidents have led to the argument that some Tesla owners may be assuming that Autopilot means self-driving. German regulators even considered having Tesla rename the system due to some users confusing the system for what it is not. Even through the accidents, media drama, and regulatory questions Tesla continues to try and improve the performance of Autopilot and have just released a new video showing the capability of the system. The tests were conducted with an alert driver at the wheel who was prepared to take over at any time during the test, watch the video below.
Tesla’s documentation and driver warnings concerning Autopilot are numerous and make it clear that the system isn’t intended to replace a human driver. Drivers using the system should be prepared to take the wheel at any time — and that means staying alert. While the system performs admirably under the right conditions it doesn’t make the Tesla autonomous and the driver is ultimately responsible for the 4,000lb vehicle. While Tesla’s system is impressive and other companies self-driving cars are equally impressive, we’re still far from cars driving themselves around on public roads. It’s going to take not only technology advancing but humans to learn and understand that technology so as not to hurt others.
What do you think of Tesla’s latest Autopilot video? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.Source: Tesla