Tesla Autopilot Successfully Covers 222 Million Miles But it’s Still a “Traffic Hazard”

Tesla Model 3 (TSLA)

Tesla Motors Inc Autopilot has been referred to as “considerable traffic hazard,” by an internal report for Germany’s Transport Ministry. As per the magazine Der Spiegel, Alexander Dobrindt – Transport Minister – was well aware of the report, but showed no intent to take the model out of service.  The Ministry, however, did told Reuters that more tests are being carried on, and the final evaluation had still not been done.

Tesla Autopilot censured

On Friday, magazine Der Spiegel reported that the Federal Highway Research Institute conducted several tests on the Model S, and censured it on many factors.  Drivers, for example, do not get any warning from the Autopilot system when a car encounters a scenario that a computer can’t address, the magazine said. Also, the report noted that the emergency brake perform inadequately and during an overtaking, the sensors on the car do not detect far back enough.

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) Store in Southern California

In a statement, Tesla Motors Inc said, “We have always been clear with our customers that Autopilot is a drivers assistance system that requires the driver to pay attention at all times.” The EV firm also noted that its system includes precautions to take care of any misuse from the driver, and such safeguards are the best in the industry. And, its emergency braking system is the “state of the art” in the industry.

Autopilot completes 222 million miles

Meanwhile, on Friday, another news related to Autopilot came, but thankfully it was positive for Tesla. Elon Musk on Friday revealed that it Autopilot has driven 222 million miles since the launch last year. Tesla’s Autopilot created a stir in the automotive industry, and gave them a glimpse of what the future holds for them. But, it was not without controversies

Tesla Motors Inc debuted Autopilot in October last year. While unveiling the Autopilot, Tesla did warned the drivers to keep their hands on the wheel all the time. Following the news in July that a Model driver using the technology was killed, the system has come under intense scrutiny.

After the incident, the EV firm claimed that “neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied.” NHTSA also opened an investigation into the case. Another incident was reported in China, but the driver was not seriously injured in the accident, where the Model S hit a parked vehicle.

Consumer Reports also slammed the Autopilot, saying the feature is “too much, too soon.” It said that its main concern is the name of the system, and also the marketing tactics used for the software creates “potential for driver confusion.”

The 222 million miles a big number, but more important is what Tesla has learned during this, and how it has incorporated that learning into its Autopilot system.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.


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