- Tesla CEOElon Musk teased a “Mad Max” mode for the company’s semi-autonomous Autopilot feature on Sunday.
- A photo posted by Musk indicated the mode might instruct a vehicle to make more aggressive lane changes than current options allow.
- Tesla declined to comment on how the mode would work or when it might become available.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk teased a “Mad Max” mode for the company’s semi-autonomous Autopilot feature on Sunday.
After a Twitter user posted an image of Tesla’s upcoming semi truck, the Semi, Photoshopped into a still from the 2015 film “Mad Max: Fury Road” – which features car chases in which vehicles collide and drive in close proximity to each other – Musk replied, “Tesla Semi Truck in Mad Max Mode.”
In another tweet, Musk said, “It’s real,” and included an image of a Tesla vehicle’s touchscreen with a “Mad Max” option for Autopilot’s “blind spot threshold” setting, which instructs the system on how to perform actions such as changing lanes when prompted by the driver.
In the photo, the “Mad Max” option is placed to the right of the “Aggressive” option, which indicates that the option might instruct the vehicle to make more aggressive lane changes than current options allow.
Tesla declined to comment on how the option would work or when it might become available.
Musk was later asked about Autopilot options Tesla customers will have in the future and said the company will have to keep self-driving cars in mind when developing future versions of Autopilot.
“It’s a tough call. Reality is that it will be pretty easy to bully a self-driving car, as it will always yield. Will prob have a manual override that requires continuous press for hardcore lane changes,” he said.
On June 10, Musk said Autopilot will receive “full, self-driving features” in an update planned for August. Musk didn’t say which self-driving features would be included, though he indicated the update would allow Tesla vehicles to perform better in areas where lanes merge on highways.
Tesla Semi Truck in Mad Max Mode https://t.co/hL5v9rikhW
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 24, 2018
In its current iteration, Autopilot can keep a car in its lane and adjust its speed based on surrounding traffic, among other features. Recent accidents involving the feature have raised questions about whether drivers place too much trust in it and fail to pay attention to the road.
Tesla has repeatedly said that Autopilot is meant to be used with an attentive driver whose hands are on the wheel, but the most visible accidents involving Autopilot have included reports of distracted drivers.
It’s real pic.twitter.com/L9h3F86Guo
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 25, 2018
Tesla has received criticism for how it has promoted the feature. In May, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Auto Safety sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking the agency to investigate the strategies the company has used to sell Autopilot.
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