Is Tesla’s automated parking glitchy? Will it lead to deaths?

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing Tesla’s autopilot could save the lives of millions, but it will kill some people first; Consumer Reports calls Tesla automated parking “glitchy”; Now your Tesla can come pick you up. California says that’s not ‘driverless’.

tesla automated parking

Free-Photos / Pixabay

1) A thoughtful, balanced Bloomberg article. There are no easy answers here, but I think Musk has been – and will continue to be – far too aggressive in rolling out technology before it’s ready so I hope regulators are paying attention… Tesla’s Autopilot Could Save the Lives of Millions, But It Will Kill Some People First. Excerpt:

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Q3 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

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Releasing still-incomplete software to customers now, and hoping to work out bugs and add capabilities along the way, is, of course, how Silicon Valley often introduces smartphone apps and video games. But those products can’t kill people. Waymo, GM, and the others have rough drafts, too, but they’re installed in only a few hundred test models, deployed in a handful of carefully chosen neighborhoods around the country, and almost always supervised by professional safety drivers. Safety is an obsession, especially after an Uber test car mowed down a pedestrian last year. GM’s prototypes crawl San Francisco’s hilly streets at a maximum speed of 35 mph.

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Part of the problem with assessing Autopilot, or fully autonomous technology for that matter, is that it isn’t clear what level of safety society will tolerate. Should robots be flawless before they’re allowed on the road, or simply better than the average human driver?

2) Mark my words, someone is going to get hurt and there will be hell to pay… Consumer Reports calls Tesla automated parking "glitchy". Excerpt:

"Consumers are not getting fully tested, consumer-ready technology," Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at the magazine said Consumer Reports in a report on Tuesday.

"What consumers are really getting is the chance to participate in a kind of science experiment."

3) Now your Tesla can come pick you up. California says that’s not ‘driverless’. Excerpt:

Kelly Nantel, an NSC vice president, issued a statement on Smart Summon:

“In introducing any new advanced safety feature, it is important for manufacturers to ensure that the feature is extensively tested and mature, and that the role of the driver in controlling the vehicle is crystal clear. Failing in either of these responsibilities risks creating confusion that can put road users at risk and reduce public trust in the potential of automated vehicles.”




About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver