Musk condemns “crazy” Tesla Autopilot videos

Since Tesla’s Autopilot launched last month, we’ve seen a range of terrifying videos of more and more stupid people abusing some seriously clever tech. Despite being intended to make motorway driving easier, videos on YouTube have shown Tesla Model S owners using Autopilot mode on country roads – and even without a driver.

In response, Elon Musk has vowed to prevent similar dangerous situations wants to put “constraints” in place to prevent them.

Elon Musk responds

Musk addressed the recent emergence of videos on an earnings call with investors, saying “I do want to emphasise, we discouraged it. There’s been some fairly crazy videos on YouTube – this is not good.”

“We will be putting some additional constraints on when Autopilot can be activated to minimise the possibility of people doing crazy things with it.”

Although he wasn’t clear on what form the constraints would take, there are several possible solutions that Tesla could implement fairly easily. One likely constraint could be the installation of a occupancy sensor, that would only engage the semi-autonomous features with a driver at the wheel.

What’s more, the same GPS functionality used to navigate the car could ensure that Autopilot is only used on motorways, and not narrow country roads.

Should Autopilot have been released?

Tesla’s Autopilot may have highlighted the stupidity of certain owners, but it’s also emphasised the responsibility manufacturers will have when it comes to releasing semi-autonomous features. It’s clear that, although extremely intelligent, Tesla’s self-driving software isn’t foolproof, and it needs to be if it’s released to the public.

To find out how far away we are from a self-driving future, read: How far away are we really from autonomous cars?

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