Tesla’s Autopilot System Self-Learning, Self-Improving: Owners

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Tesla recently released its autopilot system in beta. Several users reported incidents leading them into potential accidents. Now the owners are claiming that the system seems to improve and correct itself with usage, says a report from Electrek.

Tesla car learning by itself

The anecdotal accounts at Tesla Motors Club informed readers that the self-driving experience tends to improve as the Model S autopilot “learns.” One owner said that after a few days of usage, he realized that the system improved remarkably, and he did not have to make any corrections at all. The other owners had somewhat similar experiences.

One of the owners narrated that when he took a curve for the first time at full speed, the car went out of its lane, and the system raised a “take control immediately” alert. The owner drove along the same curve a few more times with firm pressure on the steering wheel, and the system learned to slow down. The owner added that the car did not face any problems taking the curve and that the system is “definitely learning.”

Musk did tell about it before

In a conference call last month, CEO Elon Musk discussed “fleet learning,” saying, “The whole Tesla fleet operates as a network. When one car learns something, the whole fleet learns something.” Musk said the company will make regular updates to the system and that each “car should improve each week…you’ll probably notice difference after a week or a few weeks.”

Tesla also launched Autopilot in Europe and Asia, and while announcing the launch, Musk said apart from fleet learning, the company will soon launch its 1.01 update to the system to further better the “system’s capacity to self-improve and handle curves, as well as lane changes.”

Despite the improvements, one litmus test for self-driving cars, be it from Tesla, Google or others will be “The Trolley Problem,” which is a much-debated thought experiment. Under this concept, a trolley is headed towards five people, and a lever could put it on a different track with just one person in the path. Is it right to kill one so as to save five others? The majority agrees to do this, but there are other scenarios that complicate this moral instinct.

On Friday, Tesla shares closed down 2.22% at $206.93. Year to date, the stock is down by almost 7%, while in the last one month, it is down by almost 14%.

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