This is probably not how Tesla envisioned its new Autopilot feature.
Autopilot, which allows Tesla cars sold after October 2014 to steer themselves and change lanes, avoid obstacles and barriers, and even parallel park themselves, is already running into some issues.
Early problems were expected: Autopilot works by collecting data from every car to inform Tesla’s intelligence network, meaning this system will improve with more updates and more drivers using the feature. Tesla CEO Elon Musk insists this is not full autonomy; drivers must still keep their hands near the wheel at all times.
That said, Tesla owners are complaining about their cars trying to do things they don’t want, like exit too early off the highway. Here’s one particularly egregious instance: A Tesla driver narrowly avoids a major collision after the Autopilot feature swerves the car into oncoming traffic.
That’s a pretty scary GIF. But keep in mind, Tesla tells all drivers that Autopilot is not a replacement for actual human driving just yet, and that drivers “cannot abdicate responsibility” should something like an accident occur while on Autopilot.
“The driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car,” Tesla says on its website.
This is still the case with most semi-autonomous systems from car makers like Volvo, Mercedes, and Audi. You can’t go to sleep or start reading a book and expect your car to safely arrive at its destination. It just doesn’t work that way; not yet.
Still, current Tesla owners must not be happy if, while using Autopilot, the car cannot “see” oncoming traffic, like in this instance. We’ve reached out to Tesla Motors for an explanation of what might have occurred in this video.
Check out the full video below:
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