Tesla claims that its cars will provide full self-driving capabilities. Currently, Tesla vehicles have Autopilot features that are already built-in. The question to consider is: would you trust Autopilot?
Cadillac and Audi use eye-tracking systems to check that the driver is attentive. Tesla, on-the-other-hand, only checks the driver’s observance if the steering wheel senses touch.
On the Tesla site, they claim that “current Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”
So does the manufacturer plan for drivers to not pay attention at all?
Tesla also states that their new cars have the gadgets for autonomous driving already installed. Tesla vehicles are “designed to be able to conduct short and long distance trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat.”
The idea of not having to worry about the stresses of driving is enticing. However, this approach seems ‘too perfect.’
Tesla: Past Incidents
The past incidents of drivers attempting to use this function do not leave a positive impact. How can drivers trust future promises?
There were a couple of (what seems to be) glitches where the 360 degrees visibility did not pick up on idle firetrucks. The “advanced sensor coverage” also failed to see a car that pulled out in front of the driver, killing a man.
Last year, CEO Elon Musk made a promise that by 2020, they will have fully autonomous vehicles. But did they ensure the safety of the driver? Can drivers just sit back and relax? Or are they still required to be aware of their surroundings?
IHS Markit analyst Tim Urquhart said level five of self-driving was the “holy grail” of the industry. He also said that Musk’s promise is bold. He also stated:
“Even if Tesla can reliably roll out the technology in a production environment, the regulatory environment in all the major markets is way behind allowing completely autonomous vehicles on the road.”
Urquhart also points out that some Tesla users are already misusing the system.
Will drivers trust Musk’s reassurance?