Accidents are reduced to half with Autopilot according to Elon Musk
The Probability of Having Accidents Is Reduced by Half, Thanks to Tesla’s Autopilot, claims Musk
Since the incorporation of the Autopilot feature in the Electric Car, Tesla Model S, Tesla Inc. is working hard day and night to win the public’s trust on the advantages of using the self-driving software in autonomous cars. However, the first version of this software gives the vehicle partial autonomy, reducing the chances of having accidents by a whopping 50%. This is in the event the Autopilot is on when driving, Elon Musk affirmed in an energy conference in Oslo, Norway.
The Autopilot feature basically uses a number of cameras, a radar and ultrasonic sensors that aid in the performance of a number of functions in the car like:
Steering in highways
Switching of lanes
Adjusting the car’s speed in accordance with the traffic
Reading of traffic lights and parking.
But reliable statistical data need to be present so as to boost the confidence levels of both the public and regulators to have upgraded versions of the Autopilot feature in cars.
Self-Driving Cars vs Human Drivers
To demonstrate the usefulness of the Autopilot feature, a video uploaded on YouTube by a Model S driver, Joshua Brown, showed how the vehicle automatically moved out of a truck’s way that nearly collided with his car. From the video, we see that the Tesla’s autopilot feature is active, alerting him of an immediate take over via a warning chime and immediately, the car swerves away from the truck avoiding a side collision. The video captured Elon’s attention and there is no better place to share the video than on Twitter. However, to get a clear picture of the exact details, you may need to check out the video yourself.
The initial and first version of this software works perfectly in other Tesla models. In the US alone, there are over 32,000 road fatalities every year, and double this figure, goes for the injured people. If the Autopilot feature is set to reduce this figures, this is impressive and hence adding up to the car’s safety characteristics. Moreover, the sales of this car may go up significantly in the coming years.
However, there is the question of how Tesla settles on the 50% figure. First, the Autopilot feature kicks in divided highways, common in cities. Secondly, the autopilot software needs to be used in instances where there is good visibility of the road and surroundings. Driving in highways with poor conditions is likely to reduce the effectiveness of this software and the one may need to rely heavily on his driving experience in order to enjoy a smooth ride in the long run.
A second fully autonomous software is being developed and is set to be tested soon, confirms Elon. However, you may wait longer, up to two years, for the fully Autopilot system to be incorporated into Tesla’s cars since the company is set to convince different markets on the car’s safety. Full Autopilot is expected to be significantly safer, so that it may get the regulators’ approval in different countries all over the world. Tesla has already covered over 47 million kilometres of driving on Autopilot since its official launch in October, 2015.