Human stupidity is basically limitless. Seriously, spend five minutes trolling through YouTube and you’ll be treated to dumb people doing things that will make you cringe from the safety of your computer.
At least that’s what Elon Musk did. The Tesla CEO reportedly saw some videos online of morons using the Autopilot for some less than intelligent uses, and subsequently realized maybe we’re not ready for this as a species.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
Autopilot is actually just in beta right now, but it’s basically a hodgepodge of sophisticated ADAS systems. It offers auto-steer to keep you in the lane, auto-lane change, auto-braking, side collision warning and side collision avoidance that actually moves the car out of the way, and auto-parking. Auto-parking is really one of the human-required features since you control the throttle, but it essentially parallel parks for you. Otherwise, these are hands off features. Tesla’s Autopilot doesn’t require that a driver keep their hands on the wheel at all time, the car will still operate without them, but they do suggest drivers keep them at 10 and 2.
But, according to arstechnica, on a recent quarterly financial call, Musk noted that the company would be adding “additional constraints” to Autopilot after seeing “some fairly crazy videos” on YouTube. He didn’t say what the constraints would be.
(Editor’s Note: Does it tickle anyone else to think that the CEO of Tesla and Space X is trolling around YouTube? Celebrities are just like us.)
Not all Tesla’s have this feature, but around 40,000 of the Model S do have it available and they’re driving a combined total of about a million miles per day. The system is actively learning, but Musk reported that the “early data is very positive.” He went on to say that they were not aware of any accidents that had been caused by the Autopilot, but were “very aware” of many accidents that were prevented by the technology.
Basically, if you use the technology correctly, it might help, but stop messing around already.
But the company is continuing on with testing and hopes that the Autopilot will be available via an in-app purchase for about $3,000.
Musk also noted that while Tesla is ahead of the game in autonomous cars, he expects that in 15 to 20 years, this will be the norm.