MIT Lists Tesla Autopilot Among Top 10 Breakthrough Technologies Of 2016
MIT Technology Review has bestowed one of its most prestigious awards upon Tesla.
Tesla’s Autopilot system was listed by MIT as being among the Top 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2016.
As MIT Technology Review explains:
Breakthrough – A car that drives itself safely in a variety of conditions.
Why It Matters – Car crashes caused by human error kill thousands of people a day worldwide.
“Some of these features, like automatic parallel parking, were already on offer from other car companies (including Mercedes, BMW, and General Motors), but the self-steering was suddenly, overnight, via a software update, a giant leap toward full autonomy.”
“Tesla customers, delighted, posted videos of themselves on the highway, hands free, reading the paper, sipping coffee, and even, once, riding on the roof. Some of these are, it’s worth pointing out, illegal acts. Autopilot existed in a legal gray area, but it was a grand gesture toward an ever nearing future, one that will reshape not just the car and our relationship with it but the road and our entire transportation infrastructure.”
And yes, the folks at MIT did drive an Autopilot Tesla to test out the system first-hand. Here’s what they said of after their few-day test drive:
“Everyone wanted to know what it felt like, the strange surrender of allowing a car to take control. The only moments that seemed like magic were when the car parked itself or changed lanes, mostly because watching a steering wheel turn all on its own was unnatural and ghostly. Other than that, I was amazed by how quickly I got used to it, how inevitable it began to feel. As a Tesla engineer told me—on condition of anonymity, because the company won’t let anyone but Musk speak publicly these days—the thing that quickly becomes strange is driving a car without Autopilot. “You’ll feel like the car is not doing its job,” he said.”
MIT never experienced a major fault with the system, which is partly why it choose Autopilot as breakthrough technology
MIT concluded its Autopilot write-up with this real-life experience in which Tesla’s technology most likely would’ve prevented a wreck:
“The day after I returned the Tesla, my fiancée and I were on an L.A. freeway and saw someone, speeding, cross three lanes, cutting in front of several drivers. As the traffic stopped, the car behind us came in way too fast and crashed into our bumper, which fell right off. The future, I thought, was practically here, and it couldn’t arrive soon enough.”
You can read the entire Autopilot write-up, as well as check out the other 9 breakthrough technologies of 2016, by clicking the source link below.
Source: MIT Technology Review