After much criticism, Tesla reworked its Autopilot to make it safer. To the point of generating reactions that are not always natural.
Integrated as standard on all Tesla cars since April 2019, the Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system continues to create controversy. If this one would make it possible to avoid more than 40 accidents each day according to Ashok Elluswamy, boss of the program at the American manufacturer, it would obviously not be devoid of defects. So much so that the NHTSA, the American Highway Safety, could even have it banned in the United States while an investigation is underway in the context of a series of collisions.
A new improvement
Often under fire from critics, the Autopilot system, in its most advanced version called FSD and offering 100% autonomous driving, has just received a new OTA (over-the-air) update. The 100,000 drivers selected to play the role of beta testers in the United States can therefore take advantage of a new version of the software, called 10.69.2, just deployed, as announced Elon Musk on Twitter. This offers new functionalities and places particular emphasis on the safety of the most vulnerable users, and in particular pedestrians, in response to an Autopilot smear campaign this summer.
FSD Beta 10.69.2 rolling out now. Please note that top priority is safety, so expect it to be overly cautious, especially around pedestrians.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 11, 2022
But hasn’t the Californian brand overdone it a bit? Indeed, as shown in a video posted on Twitter by Kim Paquette, currently a beta tester, the system would have unnatural reactions, which could even cause some problems. In effect, it happens that the car starts to brake violently if it sees a pedestrian at the edge of the road. Once it has crossed the roadway, the vehicle waits until it has moved away well enough to be able to restart. If the intention is laudable, this risks creating traffic jams, and even causing accidents in some cases.
An update to be expected
For the time being, Elon Musk has not yet reacted to this video and the feedback from beta testers, but there is no doubt that an update would be planned to correct this problem. Since its launch, the Autopilot system has indeed benefited from numerous improvements, aimed at making it more efficient and more natural. The FSD, which is none other than the fully autonomous driving capability, is indeed capable of handling overtaking on motorways and even driving in urban areas crossing roundabouts. If it is also able to take motorway exits on its own, this feature could be prohibited in Germany and some countries in Europe.
#FSDBeta 10.69.2 is really struggling around pedestrians – way over cautious for people just on sidewalk and not crossing. Many speeches. I’ve often wondered how the AI will judge a human’s intentions – are they just standing there, or intending to cross? #you’re here @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/DJ5nhitimk
— Kim Paquette 💫🦄 🇺🇦 🕊 (@kimpaquette) September 11, 2022
For now, the FSD is not yet available in Europe, while the beta version is only offered in the United States and Canada. However, it is possible to opt for this option in the configurator, but it cannot currently be used with us. However, it is only a matter of time.
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