The new Autopilot feature on Tesla vehicles has turned into something of a sensation of late, and the internet is full of successful tests and mishaps.
Elon Musk introduced the Autopilot feature to Tesla vehicles as an intermediate stage on the seemingly inevitable march towards a fully-automated vehicle. The feature seems to work fine most of the time, but there have been some worrying lapses, writes Brad Reed for BGR.
Tesla Model S drives radio host along highway
Given the amount of evidence on the internet that the feature does not work perfectly all of the time, it might some foolhardy to let the car drive itself on a busy road. That is exactly what German radio host Wolfgang Leikermoser did on an Autobahn.
Granted there are no tight curves, but the fact of the matter is that the Autobahn are famous for having no speed limits. Even if the AutoPilot works perfectly there is a chance that something goes wrong thanks to the high speeds that other road users can reach.
Despite the weight of evidence to the contrary, Leikermoser apparently felt confident enough in the safety of the system that he had a shave and ate some food while the Tesla Model S drove him along of its own accord. Early in the video Leikermoser can be seen driving with both of his hands on the wheel, before testing the lane-switching feature.
Successful test outweighed by many crashes
After it works perfectly during his test run, Leikermoser apparently begins to feel more comfortable in the car. The fact that he then shaves his face and eats some bread and jam is testament to his trust in the system.
AutoPilot was never meant to allow drivers to completely give over control of their vehicle to onboard systems. It is very different than self-driving car technology and is not meant to be responsible for controlling the car.
There have been a number of blooper videos posted on YouTube, where users show viewers how the AutoPilot feature failed them. Until Tesla says that it has installed self-driving features on its vehicles, stay safe. Keep your hands on the wheel for your safety and the safety of fellow road users.
If you are tempted to test your AutoPilot feature, maybe a look at these videos will dissuade you.