A Tesla Model S driver involved in a recent crash in Texas is warning other drivers that the company’s Autopilot technology is “not ready.” Mark Molthan survived the crash but suffered some serious injuries. However, he doesn’t have any ill will towards the company.
Tesla safety features are good, but need research
Molthan credits the car’s safety features with saving his life. He told CNBC, “I didn’t miss a day of work,” and had it been “my pickup truck, I might have been dead.” Molthan has owned three Teslas: two Model S cars and a Model X.
He strongly feels that the company needs to address the safety issues around the driver assistance technology, and only then would he buy another Tesla. He added that the company does not spend enough time researching new features and products and is in a haste to bring them to the market.
“It’s amazing technology, to be honest with you. But Tesla shouldn’t make their customers test pilots. They are first-to-market with this technology, and it is not good enough for what they are allowing it to do,” the driver told CNBC.
Meanwhile, Tesla has been defending the feature.
“When it is used in conjunction with driver oversight, the data is unequivocal that Autopilot reduces driver workload and results in a statistically significant improvement in safety when compared to purely manual driving,” the U.S. firm previously said in a blog post.
Tesla has repeatedly said that the feature is in “beta” mode, but Molthan told CNBC that the way company marketed it and the performance of the vehicle over time suggested it was capable of self-driving most of the time and improved with usage.
“The technology is good enough to give you a bad and false sense of security that it is always working,” he said.
Tesla begins accepting reservation deposits in Korea
In other Tesla news, Koreans interested in buying the Model S, Model X and Model 3 can now place orders as the company has officially opened its online reservation process in Korea. According to a report in the Korea Herald, the U.S. firm launched a new Korean version of its website where buyers can place an online reservation and pay a deposit for Tesla’s electric cars.
People interested in buying a Model S can reserve by placing a 2 million won ($1,800) deposit, while those interested in a Model X are required to deposit 5 million won ($4,500). To reserve the Model 3, they need to make a deposit of $900.