How Tesla sells “fully autonomous driving” software that is not truly autonomous

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However, according to self-driving car experts and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees cars, there are actually no self-driving cars available for sale today. They said that Tesla’s “self-driving” is more like an enhanced cruise control.

People posting videos on the internet The unlocked function indicates that it may stop at a traffic light and turn smoothly at an intersection, but it may also turn to pedestrians or confuse moon It is a traffic signal.

Tesla said that a Human drivers need to keep an eye on and be prepared to take over, and the company Only the driver it considers the safest to have initial access to the system.

Despite these limitations, Tesla is free to call its technology “fully autonomous driving.” Tesla owners who download the “fully autonomous driving” beta must check a box to confirm that they know they have a responsibility to keep their hands on the steering wheel and be alert and must be ready to take action at all times. It said that “fully autonomous driving” would not allow their cars to drive autonomously.

A person who bought a Tesla car on his website referred to the technology described in capital letters as “fully autonomous driving,” but the small print below indicates that the technology is a driving assistance technology. Driver assistance technology is designed to help humans drive more safely, with functions such as forward collision warning, blind spot warning and lane departure warning system.

MIT AGELab scientist Bryan Reimer (Bryan Reimer) said: “The problem is that Tesla’s feet exist at the same time.”

Reimer said that the US government does not have performance standards for autonomous driving assistance technology. In terms of these technologies, Tesla or any car manufacturer can basically do whatever they want.

“We are at the mercy of automakers to install safety systems. We rely on drivers who want to take unfavorable risks,” Car and Highway Safety Advocate Chairman Cathy Chase told CNN Business. “The combination of the two is the perfect storm of future disasters.”

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment, nor did it contact professional news media.

There are signs that NHTSA is moving towards standardizing driver assistance technology, but the speed at which this may happen remains to be seen. It can take years to complete the rule-making process, and sometimes the government may stop the process started by the previous government. The NHTSA’s agenda earlier this year called for a rule to set performance standards for automatic emergency braking and to designate a test to determine whether automakers are complying.
This summer, NHTSA launched an investigation into Tesla’s emergency vehicles that used Autopilot to rear-end collisions. Chase said she is worried that Tesla technology may play a role in other types of collisions that we have not yet realized.
Autonomous driving experts have long warned that Tesla’s description of “fully autonomous driving” and its more rudimentary predecessor, Autopilot, may cause drivers to trust the technology too much. The Tesla driver has been killed in a high-profile crash using Autopilot, which has aroused condemnation from the National Transportation Safety Board.
They said that Democratic Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Tesla and take enforcement action because Tesla’s marketing exaggerated the capabilities of its vehicles.

They wrote: “When the expectations of drivers exceed the capabilities of their vehicles, serious and fatal accidents can and do result.”

The Federal Trade Commission, which is responsible for protecting consumers from deceptive or unfair business practices, declined to tell CNN Business why it did not take any action against Tesla. A spokesperson said that the US Federal Trade Commission also stated that it would not comment on whether there were any public investigations.

Choosing the wrong technology

According to autonomous driving and legal experts, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Congress can push the agency to regulate certain things, but in recent years it has missed opportunities to focus on driver assistance technologies.

They did not regulate driver assistance, but focused on self-driving cars, the type of cars that do not require steering wheels or pedals. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a law related to autonomous vehicles in 2017. NHTSA has published multiple versions of guidelines for fully autonomous vehicles.

“It has taken many, many steps forward, and we have not yet solved the problem that can save lives,” Chase said.

The decision to focus on revolutionary technology was made after years of hype by autonomous driving companies. Some well-known people in the industry said that this technology is only a few years old. But facts have proved that autonomous driving software is very difficult, and the company has failed to meet expectations. Only Waymo provides self-driving robotic taxi services, and it is located in a limited part of the Phoenix area. On rainy days, Waymo’s vehicles need to be manned.

Bryant Walker Smith, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law, said that European regulators are far ahead of the United States in regulating driver assistance technology.Smith said that technologies such as pedestrian detection and automatic braking have There are mandatory requirements for new cars, and there should be performance standards for them.

“There are some low-hanging fruit,” Smith said. “We can save lives sooner than we can have self-driving cars.”



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