With Tesla Autopilot, it still seems to be a mix of the good and the bad.
This is to be expected since Telsa continues to assert that its semi-autonomous self-driving system is a "hands-on" technology. CEO Elon Musk recently admitted during his interview on CBS this morning that Autopilot will never be perfect while he proceeded to drive hands-free. But, he remained in control and aware of the car and his surroundngs, and he didn't take a rest in the passenger seat.
Every time we share one of these videos, the opinions on both sides are rampant.
This comes as no surprise to us since some Autopilot footage shows strange behavior that may be able to be attributed to something to do with the road, the lines, the blinding sunlight, the actions of other drivers, etc. Other times, it just seems "off." Then, there are times that it appears to perform some miraculous save. The bottom line is that these systems are just not consistent ... yet.
Yes, Autopilot still has strange quirks and should not be trusted. This is why you should always pay attention when using this new technology.
Yes, Autopilot sometimes gives warnings or makes corrections that could save lives, however, there's no way for us to know for sure what may have happened if the system didn't warn or engage, and we can't just hope it will work in our favor every time.
With any new technology, you can't really assume anything. Much of getting used to what it will do and how it works is through trial and error. Autopilot is not something we want to become familiar with through trial and error unless we are diligent throughout the process.
An error on your new mobile phone or computer may be irritating, but you'll get through it. An error in a car with a self-driving system can lead to severe consequences. Needless to say, as Autopilot and other semi-autonomous technologies improve, there's really no doubt that they should save lives. However, there will always be exceptions.
Exceptions like the one shown in the above video can lead to devastating situations. Nonetheless, one of the first questions asked will be whether or not the driver was paying attention and allowed the system to perform such an unsafe maneuver. It surely is a difficult situation as companies work to push this type of tech into the mainstream.