Tesla Motors Inc. has given in to public pressure and will make changes to its famed Autopilot system. The feature allows for a near hands-free driving experience with very little to no input required by the driver. Though revered by fans, the self-driving system recently played a part in the death of 40 year-old Joshua Brown. The man’s Model S hit a semi-truck while driving on a Florida highway. Tesla confirmed that Autopilot was in use at the time of the crash.
Tesla gives into public pressure
The feature’s failure to detect an approaching object as large as a semi in broad daylight raises serious concerns. It appears the crash that took Brown’s life would also be less troubling if Tesla Motors’ Autopilot tech was not still in its “testing” phase. Many media outlets and other concerned entities believe that the electric car maker should be prosecuted for encouraging drivers to use and trust the incomplete tech
In the wake of the crash, the firm assured the public that it would make changes to its Autopilot system. A tweet by CEO Elon Musk said the system’s radar would be adjusted.
“Working on using existing Tesla radar by itself (decoupled from Camera) w temporal smoothing to create a coarse point cloud, like lidar” – Musk via Twitter.
Consumer Reports called for Autopilot changes
Consumer Reports urged Tesla to do away with its autonomous driving system for now, voicing public concerns. The luxury car-maker was asked to complete its technology before ushering it out to the public. It’s in its beta phase. The encouraged use of Autopilot means the company is using humans as “guinea pigs”, according to Consumer Reports.
Buyers can’t be used as “guinea pigs for safety ‘beta’ programs,” the outlet wrote. “By marketing their feature as ‘Autopilot’, Tesla gives consumers a false sense of security.”
The reviewing entity is among the most trusted in the world when it comes to consumer advice. It is known to hold Tesla and its innovative cars in high regard. The Model S P85D got its best ever handed out by Consumer Reports nine months ago 9 months.
However, the May 7 Autopilot saw Consumer Reports take a different liking to Tesla. The outlet isn’t sure if “the name Autopilot, as well as the marketing hype of its roll-out, promoted a dangerously premature assumption that the Model S was capable of truly driving on its own.”
It looks as though the EV company is considering the cries of its consumers. Tesla isn’t likely to do away with Autopilot. A software update with more safety features could go a long way towards consoling buyers though.