Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) said on Thursday that Mobileye, its former camera supplier, denigrated the safety of its assisted driving technology after realizing that it was developing a vision system of its own, reports Reuters. Tesla and Mobileye were partners, but they parted ways later, and now both are accusing each other of being responsible for their relationship going kaput.
Mobileye’s statements “inaccurate”
A few days ago, Mobileye Chairman Amnon Shashua told Reuters that Tesla had been pushing the “envelope in terms of safety” with Autopilot, and this left them disappointed. Shashua also accused the EV firm of using his company’s machine vision system in applications for which it hadn’t been designed.
In response, a Tesla spokeswoman termed the statements made by Shashua “inaccurate,” saying that Mobileye made an attempt to force the EV firm to “discontinue this development, pay them more and use their products in future hardware.”
“When Tesla refused to cancel its own vision development activities and plans for deployment, Mobileye discontinued hardware support for future platforms and released public statements implying that this discontinuance was motivated by safety concerns,” the spokeswoman said.
The EV firm also said that it has been “continuously” educating drivers that they should be prompt in taking control of the vehicle any time in case of emergency. The EV manufacturer maintained that there are huge stakes in the race to perfect self-driving and partially self-driving systems, and need of the hour is to assure consumers and regulators that the innovations are safe.
Tesla improving Autopilot
In May, a Model S crashed into a tractor-trailer in Florida while running on Autopilot, resulting in the death of the driver. Since then, the Autopilot system has been under intense scrutiny. In July, Tesla was sued by a Chinese man after his son met with an accident with a street sweeping vehicle when his car was on Autopilot mode.
Meanwhile the EV firm is working to improve Autopilot. Musk recently held a press conference to announce the new features of Tesla’s upcoming firmware, version 8, saying that Tesla’s Autopilot “compares favorably” with human drivers, who on average suffer a fatal crash every 70 million to 80 million miles driven globally. Tesla’s firmware 8 include modifications to driver alerts. Also the system disables itself if the driver ignores three audio warnings within an hour.
On Thursday, Tesla shares closed up 2.04% at $200.42. Year to date, the stock is down almost 16%, while in the last year, it is down almost 20%.