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Tesla's Autopilot Not as Autonomous as Some Owners Think

26 Octobre 2015 - Autoblog

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Well it has already happened. A video of Tesla's Autopilot failing to keep the car on the straight and narrow popped up online a week after the software update containing semi-autonomous driving features was released. But the scary moment seems to be more human error than anything else.

YouTube user RockTreeStar uploaded a video entitled "Tesla Autopilot tried to kill me!" He admits in the video's description that he loves his fully-loaded 2015 Tesla SP90D and owns a chunk of Tesla stock. However, his ardent Tesla fandom didn't stop him from ignoring the company's explicit instructions on how to use the new features that came with the version 7.0 software update and ignoring the in-car warning that he should keep his hands on the wheel.

He says he let the car drive itself so he could take video for his friends. While the car was driving on a curvy road with plenty of traffic, the Tesla drifted into the oncoming lane and nearly collided head-on with another car. He thinks his Tesla began tracking the oncoming car when it lost sight of the car ahead around the curve. At the last moment, he dropped his phone and grabbed the wheel, preventing a terrible crash.

This incident doesn't seem to be a case of technology gone awry, but a human using it incorrectly. The Autopilot is meant to be used in clear conditions and seems to work best on straightaways, like freeways. The other updates, like autonomous lane changing, seem to reinforce the idea that this setting isn't meant for such curvy, heavily-trafficked roads yet.

Tesla told the BBC drivers must be in control of the vehicle and can't "abdicate responsibility for driving." The technology is still in beta testing, and may have a few bugs to work out. In fact, one driver already received a speeding ticket in a Tesla while using the Autopilot system. In the mean time, owners should trust themselves, rather than the car's computer, to get them from point A to B safely.

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