Tesla is testing a new Autopilot feature that drives you from home to work
Great, more asleep-at-the-wheel drivers.
Tesla’s Autopilot hasn’t been the greatest lately – with it causing Teslas to drive into gyms or police cars or even traffic barriers. Sure, it’s a small percentage of traffic accidents, but any percentage is too high really. I mean, this is a system designed to drive without driver interaction, isn’t it?
Not according to the official line from Tesla, often repeating the same rhetoric absolving them from blame. Essentially the company says that Autopilot is not a replacement for the driver and ultimate responsibility for the vehicle rests with the person in the driver’s seat.
That company line might need to change in the future. Elon Musk tweeted yesterday to signal that Tesla is testing a new feature set for Autopilot that will enable the car to drive you from home to work.
Already testing traffic lights, stop signs & roundabouts in development software. Your Tesla will soon be able to go from your garage at home to parking at work with no driver input at all.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2018
This new Autopilot feature will be a game changer
There are a few other things to read into the tweets. Tesla says that Autopilot is designed for highway use on roads with a central divider. It appears that at least the testing versions of the new Autopilot software can drive on city streets, with “traffic lights, stop signs and roundabouts” being worked on.
Musk also mentions that Navigate on Autopilot will automatically pass slow cars. This seems at odds with the official Tesla stance that drivers need to confirm lane changes while Autopilot is on. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, and it is simply the brevity afforded by Twitter’s space constraints.
Perhaps not though, as it appears that Autopilot can already manage quite well when the driver is asleep. If these plans come to fruition, you’ll be able to summon your Tesla, get in, and have it chauffeur you to work. That’s pretty sweet, right?
Or not, as people are too stupid to use Autopilot responsibly. Maybe in a future where every car is self-driving and aware enough to talk to all the vehicles around it. Until then, I’ll stick to driving myself.
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