Volvo has spoken out against Tesla Motors Inc.’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) ground-breaking and extremely popular Autopilot tech this week. The all-electric luxury car maker is undeniably among the most innovative automakers around today. This is true despite it only being around for a mere 13 years. But the firm is not without its hassles, and its appearance in the eyes of the public has been under some strain as of late.
There were a lot headlines over the past few weeks covering just about every Tesla accident. Those related to the company’s Autopilot tech have been especially recognized. The technology itself, and the fact that so many Tesla owners have grown used to letting their cars virtually drive themselves, has been a highly contested topic for some time. Some experts have called the system out for being reckless and irresponsible on Tesla’s part.
Talking about the Autopilot, Volvo’s Dr. Peter Mertens said: “Every time I drive (Autopilot), I’m convinced it’s trying to kill me.”
Tesla holds much to be proud of for an automotive company as young as itself. The electric vehicle maker has caught up to the ranks of motor industry legends at a very fast and clearly effective rate. News this week tells us that the EV firm has knocked numerous motoring giants off their pedestals. It also brought back revamped versions of its Model S P60. But there’s always some kind of a downside with Tesla. In addition to fending off its bad-mouthing peers this week, the company has had to take measures in order to keep itself clear of fraudulent claims.
Tesla Autopilot Tech Is Under More Fire
The self-driving capabilities of Tesla’s Autopilot tech are truly amazing. There is a rising number of footage all over the internet depicting the impressive feature. It allows drivers to drive around hands-free with very little input. Once Autopilot is enabled, the car is able to detect obstacles, adhere to road guides and even safely and seamlessly change lanes by itself. It has in some cases even saved the lives of its drivers. Though often portrayed as fun and convenient feature, Tesla autopilot has driver assistance and safety at its core.
But not everyone is on board with the EV giant’s self-driving tools. BMW has gone as far as comparing the tech to a faulty app. Though in use right now, the technology is far from complete. CEO Elon Musk himself has advised Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) owners to use Autopilot with caution. Users can’t fall asleep at the wheel and expect to wake up at their destinations just yet, Musk warned. Although others have gone against the CEO’s advice and have been spotted dozing off at the wheel while a dutiful Tesla runs in traffic.
But Volvo has described Autopilot as irresponsible, at least in its current form. Like just about every other car maker, it too is working on self-driving tech. However, Tesla has shipped the tech while having admitted that it is still very much incomplete. That has brought the safety of many Tesla drivers into question before. According to Peter Mertens — Volvo’s chief of R&D — Autopilot from Tesla cannot be trusted and the EV company is now jeopardizing the whole self-driving car industry.
“Anyone who says ‘we have systems that are better than human drivers’ is lying to you. Anyone who moves too early is risking the entire autonomous industry,” Mertins insisted. The R&D”chief also went on to shamelessly assure that Volvo, on the other hand, is in fact “the safety brand.”
The Swedish car maker is taking its time in order to ensure that a safe and perfected autonomous driving system reaches the market. “We’re taking things slowly,” continued Mertens. “Until the systems are better than a good human driver, Volvo won’t go there.”
Tesla Outdoes Motor Industry Legends
According to BrandZ’s latest annual report, Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) is now recognized as the 10th most valuable brand around. It’s new position means that auto juggernauts like Volkswagen — have been removed from the top 10.
Tesla is now said to score higher in the billions in terms of total worth. It has also managed to gain the appeal of billionaire investors. The new ranking gives the company a greater estimated value of over $44 billion, while billionaire Ron Baron has just endorsed the it in a very helpful way. Talking on Squawk Box on CNBC, Baron said he believes Tesla Motors is an worth long-term investment.
“I think in this one investment we can make $6 to $7 billion.” he said. “I think this could be one of the largest companies in the United States.”