Tesla Motors recently introduced Autopilot with the intent of preventing mishaps due to human errors. But in a recent incident, it was Tesla’s long-existing auto brake feature that prevented an ugly crash and not its autopilot features, stressed Consumer Reports.
Autopilot not the hero
A YouTube video with the title “Tesla autopilot saves the day” has been viewed more than a million times. The video features a Tesla Model S traveling at night when all of a sudden another car comes into its path. The YouTube user who created the video said he was driving at around 45 miles per hour and didn’t even have to touch the brake. The car did all the work in saving him from a serious crash.
However, Consumer Reports, in an online article, noted that the credit should go to the forward-collision warning system with automatic braking. Tesla and other car makers have made available this system for some time now. Such systems issue an alert to drivers regarding an imminent crash by using radar and cameras and automatically hits the brakes to avoid the crash.
Such a feature can be seen in most new cars. It is a standard feature that is largely limited to luxury cars and top-of-the-line models. It is also available as a part of add-on “safety bundles” alongside other features such as adaptive cruise control and systems that ensure the car does not drift out of the traffic lane.
A Tesla spokeswoman stated that both the video and Consumer Reports’ article “speak for themselves.”
Tesla to put “constraints” to stop “crazy things”
In a software update last month, Tesla introduced new autopilot features that included automatic steering, lane keeping and parking. As a precaution, the electric car maker is requesting that owners keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times.
Referring to the recent “crazy” incidents while the Autopilot feature was in use, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, during a post-results conference call on Tuesday, said, “Tesla will put ‘additional constraints on when autopilot can be activated to minimize the possibility of people doing crazy things with it.”
On Thursday, Tesla shares closed up 0.06% at $231.77. This year so far, the stock is up by over 4% while in the last three months, it is down by over 14%.