Business Essentials for Professionals


Tesla To Push Ahead With 'Full Self-Driving' M Says Elon Musk

Tesla To Push Ahead With 'Full Self-Driving' M Says Elon Musk
After a federal government investigation in the United States raised questions about the initial findings of a fatal crash involving a Tesla self driving car in Spring, Texas, last month, the US based electric car maker is seemingly still pushing ahead with a broader roll out of its autonomous driving software.
In a series of tweets recently, upgrades and the expansion of his company's driver assistance software were teased by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
According to the immediate findings of the local police in April after the crash that it was certain that there was no one on the Tesla's driver's seat when the crash had happened. The crash had killed two men.
But a preliminary investigation report into the April 17 crash was released this week by the US federal government in which it said that the owner of the Tesla car was seen in security camera footage to be getting into the driver's seat when the duo had started the trip.
However there is no clarity about whether the driver had time to climb out of the driver's seat prior to the crash, or if the driver climbed into the rear seat after the crash.
The initial investigation into the crash was conducted by Constable Mark Herman on behalf of the Harris County police precinct and had concluded that the driver’s seat was empty when the crash had happened. Those initial claims had raised questions about the safety of Tesla's Autopilot, its suite of driver assistance features.
According to tesla, it always advises drivers to remain in the driver's seat and continue to be attentive even when the car is driven by the Autopilot. It is argued that the current driverless technology and software used in Tesla cars has only limited capacity to handle some driving tasks and therefore drivers of such cars need to be always prepared to take over controls of the cars at any point in time. However, clips have been posted on social media by some drivers showing them exiting the driver's seat - thereby creating dangerous situations. There have been fatal accidents in which the drivers were driving in Autopilot and were very un-attentive on the road conditions.
However no conclusion about whether the Autopilot was active at the time of the crash has yet been arrived at in the National Transportation Safety Board investigation looking into the cause of the fatal crash in Texas. The accident is also being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and has a total of a 28 active investigations into Tesla's advanced driver assistance system, according to a spokesperson.
"I think we're maybe a month or two away from wide beta. But these things are hard to predict accurately," Musk tweeted.
In the process of updating its Autopilot system software, there were "gigantic" changes to the "full self-driving" beta, Musk tweeted. He also stated that the new and upgraded system will not cause unexpected breaking any more when such cars drive through shadows under bridges and overpasses – which was a fault of the system which many drivers had called "phantom braking."

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc