Tesla’s new ‘full self-driving’ mode is still not fully autonomous driving

Description – Earlier this week, Tesla sent its “complete self-driving” software to a small group of owners, who would test it on public roads. But buried on its website is a disclaimer that the $ 8,000 system does not make vehicles autonomous and drivers still have to monitor it.

Anti-messaging Tesla are experts in the field accusing TSLA,
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Deceptive, irresponsible marketing, which could make roads more dangerous as the system rolls in as 1 million electric vehicle drivers by the end of the year.

“It’s actively misleading people about the system’s capabilities, based on the information I’ve seen about it,” said Steven Schladover, a research engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, who has been autonomous for 40 years Have studied driving. “This is a very limited functionality that still requires continuous driver supervision.”

On a conference call on Wednesday, Musk told industry analysts that the company is slowly and carefully “starting all over, because the world is a complex and messy place.” It plans to add drivers later this week and is expected to have a wider release by the end of the year. He cited the presence of one million vehicles, which are “providing feedback” on situations that cannot be anticipated.

The company has not identified the drivers or said where they are located. The message was released on Thursday seeking comment from Tesla.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which regulates automakers, says it will monitor Tesla closely “and will not hesitate to take action to protect the public against undue risks to safety.”

The agency says in a statement that it has been briefed on Tesla’s system, which it considers an extension of driver assistance software that requires human supervision.

“No vehicle is available for purchase today,” the statement said.

On its website, Tesla operates in large fonts with its full self-driving capability. In small font, it warns: “Currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous. The activation and use of these facilities are dependent on gaining more credibility from human drivers in the form of billion miles of experience as well as regulatory approvals, which may be longer in some jurisdictions.

Even before the term “full self-driving” was used, Tesla named its driver-assistance system “autopilot”. Many drivers relied heavily on this and investigated it, resulting in at least three American deaths. The National Transportation Safety Board failed Tesla in fatal accidents that prevent drivers from paying attention and fail to limit where autopilot can be used.

Board members, who have no regulatory powers, said they are disappointed that safety recommendations have been overlooked by Tesla and NHTSA.

Bryant Walker Smith of a University of South Carolina law studying autonomous vehicles said it was bad enough that Tesla was using the term “autopilot” to describe its system, but called it “complete self-driving.” “To extend is even worse.

Walker Smith said, “This is misleading and irresponsible, which can be called fraud.”

The Society of Automotive Engineers or SAE has developed five levels to describe the functions of autonomous vehicles. In levels zero through two, humans are driving cars and monitoring partially automated tasks. In levels three through five, vehicles are driving, with level five describing a vehicle under all traffic and weather conditions.

The term “full self-driving” means that there is no driver other than the vehicle, indicating that it would not be appropriate to place anyone in the vehicle, Walker Smith said.

Musk also said on Wednesday that Tesla would focus on installing a Robotax system, where one person could manage a fleet of 10 self-driving cars in a ride healing system.

“It won’t be too difficult, but we’re just going to focus on having an autonomous network that has elements like Uber, Lyft, AirBnB,” he said.

Tesla is among the 60 companies with permits to operate autonomous vehicles with human backup drivers in the No. 1 state of California for sale. Companies are required to file reports with documentation when the robotic system experiences a problem that requires the driver to take control – a mandate that could trick owners of Tesla vehicles into red tape.

Before Tesla can put fully self-driving vehicles onto California roads, it will have to get another permit from state regulators. Only five companies have obtained those permits, including Google spin-off Waymo and General Motors’ cruise subsidiary.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles did not immediately answer questions about Tesla’s latest plans for robotic cars.

Staying away from enforcing the rules for fear of safety innovations, NHTSA says each state holds drivers accountable for the safe operation of their vehicles.

Walker Smith argues that the agency is placing too much responsibility on Tesla drivers when asked what vehicle manufacturers are going to do to ensure vehicles are safe. Also, he says that testing the system with vehicle drivers can be beneficial and accelerate the adoption of autonomous vehicles.

On Thursday afternoon, Musk was apparently trying to sell complete self-driving software. He wrote on Twitter that the price of the “FSD beta” would increase by $ 2,000 on Monday.


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