Few weeks ago a fatal crash happened which cost the life of Joshua D. Brown, a 40-year-old Ohio man. The accident happened when his 2015 Tesla Model S sedan failed to activate its brakes and hit a truck on a highway near Williston. Apart from this, 2 other highly publicized Tesla crashes caused by failures in the company’s Autopilot software had been recorded.
Although currently investigation concerning the crash is still in process, a report was published calling on Tesla to completely disable the Autopilot software that comes equipped on the Model S and the Model X. But is Tesla’s Autopilot responsible for this crash? Most people completely ignore the fact that the Autopilot feature is still in its development stage (a fact warned by Tesla) and assume it is a complete autonomous vehicle set to take you to the ends of the earth without you touching the wheels, as a matter of fact, in one of the accidents, Tesla discovered that Autopilot wasn’t even activated at the time of the crash. No matter what, I personally wont completely trust on an AI in situations like this, i have to be alert at all times to monitor its activity #NothingBeatsHumanThoughts!
Tesla has no plans to disable Autopilot, instead the the company intends to educate its users more about the capabilities and limitations of its Autopilot software. Tesla CEO Elon Musk over the weekend directed users to a forum post from a Tesla owner arguing why disabling Autopilot isn’t recommended. According to Musk the post is a “great rebuttal.”
“As of writing this note, Tesla’s autopilot allows you to maintain lane, change lanes, and park the car. While you should keep your hands on the steering wheel, when driving on a straight road with minimal traffic, you may take off your hands from time to time to relax your arms. However, when encountering curves, construction zones, roads that don’t have clear lane markings, busy traffic, inclement weather such as rain or snow, and even direct bright sun, you should keep your hand on the steering wheel and be ready to take control if needed.
Remember, when you are in an aircraft and if the pilot were to put the aircraft in autopilot mode, what would you expect them to do. I believe you wouldn’t want them to be roaming the aisles and talking to passengers leaving the flight control to the computer. It’s the same with your car on autopilot.
And definitely DO NOT:
a) Go to sleep
b) Read any kind of literature
c) Play games
d) Watch anything other than the road and the dash/screen on your car
e) Get so engrossed in conversation with other passengers in the car or on the phone that you are not aware of road conditions.
Did you notice that all of the above also apply to driving any vehicle? I hope you get the point – it is NOT AN AUTONOMOUS vehicle so don’t act like you are driving one. There is NO autonomous vehicle authorized on public roads at this time in any part of the world. Once again, autopilot is NOT autonomous. Autopilot still requires you – it will assist you but doesn’t replace you.”
Tesla is already working towards improving it’s Autopilot’s radar, this would allow it to spot obstructions more readily. Musk said that such improvements may even be possible through software update.
So i’ll throw the question to you, should Tesla Autopilot feature be disabled? or improved on…
Tesla Motors, Inc. is an American automotive and energy storage company that designs, manufactures, and sells luxury electric cars, electric vehicle powertrain components, and battery products. Tesla Motors is a public company that trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol TSLA. During the first quarter of 2013, Tesla posted profits for the first time in its history. Tesla manufactures equipment for home and office battery charging, and has installed a network of high-powered Superchargers across North America, Europe and Asia. The company also operates a Destination Charging program, under which shops, restaurants and other venues are offered fast chargers for their customers.