Deadly problem, Tesla’s Autopilot does not recognize children

During a test, a Tesla car with Tesla’s Full Self-Driving mode repeatedly crashed into a child-sized dummy.

Tesla Model
Source: Project Dawn

We are eagerly waiting to be able to take advantage of the fully autonomous driving capability. Level 3 autonomous driving has been legal in Europe since mid-July 2022, but you will have to wait until September 1 to drive hands-free in France. Until then, only level 2 autonomous driving was authorized on the Old Continent. And, there is no indication that you will be able to enjoy fully autonomous driving at Tesla from September, the American manufacturer must make requests about it.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing to wait a little longer. Tesla’s fully autonomous driving feature, Full Self-Driving (FSD), has been heavily criticized from the start. It is functional (in beta) in the United States, but Tesla is accused of testing in nature a function far from complete. Whether it’s the autopilot assist feature or the Full Self-Driving (FSD) : Tesla and Elon Musk are still beating the drums and promising a lot. In doing so, they create false expectations and mislead Tesla owners — or so critics say.

Children are not identified by Teslas

Project Dawn, dedicated to banning dangerous software, has just proven in a relatively simple test just how dangerous FSD can be. Especially for the most vulnerable people in road traffic, namely children.

Source: Project Dawn

As reported The Guardian, the project put a dummy (little) kid in the way of a Tesla Model 3 with the latest FSD 10.12.2. This dummy was motionless, that is to say, it was not moving. So, according to The Dawn Project, this dummy was run over several times – at a distance of around 100m and at a speed of around 40km/h. Dan O’Dowd, the initiator of the study, called the survey results (accessible on this PDF) “deeply disturbingand said Tesla repeatedly failed this simple test.

An FSD mode far from ready

According to Elon Musk, a new version called FSD Beta v11 should soon see the light of day, probably by the end of August. Concretely, Tesla will merge the software dedicated to driving on the highway and in the city, to make its autonomous driving system even more efficient.

Note that this system always requires a certain vigilance on the part of the driver, who must be able to regain control at any time. This device is therefore still considered a level 2 autonomous driving system.

The European Union has authorized level 3 autonomous driving on the roads since July 1, while this measure will be adopted in France from September 1. For now, only the Mercedes EQS and S-Class are equipped with this technology, which no longer requires keeping your hands on the wheel.

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