This is exactly why technology like Tesla's Autopilot will take a very long time to be fully autonomous.
Tesla Autopilot, and other advanced driver-assist systems, may give people a false sense of security. This is because it's not the day-to-day piloting that typically trips up the technology, but instead, unique, one-off situations like random construction zones.
If you use Tesla Autopilot regularly for your commute, you may be happy with its success, and Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta software appears to perform even better. Most driver-assistance technology should be able to handle the typical task of simply piloting from Point A to Point B.
Such tech can navigate, accelerate, brake, steer, change lanes, and avoid obstacles rather well, perhaps better than most new drivers. However, as soon as the situation changes from typical issue-free piloting to a tricky situation, it can be a different story.
We know many Tesla fans and owners are very excited about FSD Beta. In fact, some seem to think Tesla will have robotaxis on the road by the end of the year. or shortly thereafter. There are others who think that's a stretch, but are still confident the tech will be capable of Level 4 or 5 autonomy in the near future. This is because it's improving exponentially. However, it's unique situations like construction zones that will likely hold up progress, not just for Tesla, but for all companies working on self-driving tech.
Think about the number of times Tesla's self-driving data records a stop at a red light, a merge onto the freeway, an issue-free right turn, etc. It seems there's no reason the cars shouldn't be able to handle such mundane daily driving maneuvers without error, until there's an issue, of course.
However, when it comes to unique situations like construction zones, wicked weather, sinkholes, objects falling from the sky, and crazy road rage, the technology may be taxed. We imagine it's going to fail in many of these situations, and it may be a long time before Tesla can collect enough data from unique scenarios to perfect the tech.
Tesla owner and Full Self-Driving Beta tester Tesla Raj shows us how his Model 3 handles construction zones. Even though the tech has seen an onslaught of updates and improvements, it struggles here, as expected. While daily driving can be rather consistent, that's not the case with construction areas.
Check out the video to see how FSD Beta compares. Then, share your take with us in the comment section below.