THE Tesla has a very well-defined objective: to allow its vehicles to move completely autonomously (Full Self-Driving). That day is still a long way off, but not much: a software update being tested since last month gives the brand’s cars an almost complete level of autonomous navigation.
The software has been released to certain Tesla customers. Some of them are reporting the experience gained on YouTube. In general, they make it clear that the update does not exempt the user from taking the driver’s seat to supervise autonomous driving and, when applicable, intervene in driving the vehicle.
Not by chance, Tesla itself emphasizes that the new system is a kind of beta. Because of this, the tests must be performed with the user at the driving position. He must also keep his hands on the steering wheel at all times and pay constant attention to traffic to be able to intervene in dangerous situations.
On the other hand, it is visible that the technology has evolved a lot: the software is able to drive the vehicle correctly most of the time, in the most diverse conditions.
One of the conductors reports in your video having been impressed when the vehicle recognized cones that signaled a work on the track and tried to change lanes to avoid them.
Another youtuber reported that the autonomous system recognized a cyclist on the track and opened up a space in relation to him. As the maneuver was being made in a curve, the driver thought it best to take control at that moment to ensure that there was no accident, but the fact that the car did not ignore the cyclist is an important advance.
Despite this, tests already carried out show that the Full Self-Driving operation is not yet possible. Although vehicles that received the update can make full journeys in normal traffic conditions, there are occasional situations that require the driver to act.
In one of the videos, the car stopped at an intersection at the stop sign and then started to accelerate. At that moment, the driver took control, as a vehicle that was not detected in time passed the cross at high speed.
The same driver showed, in a second video, that your Tesla was making a turn, but not close enough to avoid a collision with a car parked near the maneuvering area. Again, the driver had to interfere to avoid a collision.
But these small slips, so to speak, are not unexpected. Tesla’s (and other companies’) autonomous driving system is based on artificial intelligence, so it needs to be tested and trained to exhaustion until it reaches a safe level of autonomy.
That is why Tesla and other companies take a cautious stance. Anyway, recent tests show that autonomous driving is really just a matter of time.
With information: Ars Techica.