We all know that progress often comes with a price and that sometimes evolution causes growth pain and problems. However, rewards and benefits are important as well, and people sometimes tend to forget that. One similar case happened recently, when a Tesla car, controlled by self-driving technology, crashed and caused the death of the driver. Following the incident, CEO of Tesla company, Elon Musk, stated that the technology will not be removed from the cars and that people need to be better informed about the potential of this new system.
Revolutionary things are always problematic, and they seldom cause an uproar from the public, simply because people fear the unknown or they do not want to invest any effort to understand and comprehend how a certain method works.
That is why Musk announced that Tesla would publish an explanatory blog about the ways in which their Autopilot feature should be used. The blog will be published with the idea to educate, but other improvements are expected as well.
The Autopilot system is still in beta test, and drivers acknowledge and accept this fact once they sit behind the wheel of an electric car made by Tesla.
When it comes to the accident that triggered the public “outrage” and caused a detailed investigation, it happened in Florida, on May 7th, when a driver was killed after his Tesla Model S slammed into a semi-tractor trailer in a classic T-bone crash.
His speed was 65 miles per hour, and there were no tracks of braking, and Tesla experts also claim that the driver’s hands were not on the wheel before the collision. This was the first fatality involving self-driving technology, although several other crashes have been reported around the country. Luckily, none of them has had fatal consequences.
Media quickly grasped the story and produced a scandal out of it, even though the incident happened after the Autopilot has driven cars for than 130 million miles.
The technology is installed in 70.000 Tesla cars that are currently on the roads, and they all operate without any serious problems. Around 32.000 road deaths per year in the US are a shocking number, but experts believe that Autopilot will not contribute to this figure.
Elon Musk insists that the number will go down since his technology is helpful and useful, but even he accepts that the system is not perfect and that improvements are necessary.
The stocks of Tesla did not gown after the media outbreak, and they were even 0.2% higher on July 1st, standing at $214.44. It seems that people still have faith in this project, and it remains to be seen if the upgrades will be beneficial to the overall popularity of Tesla cars. However, people should not expect too much, simply because the progress is sometimes slow and painful, and we must have the patience to see how will the future look like. Autopilot is not entirely autonomous, so drivers need to be alert all the time, and they have to be ready to take over control as soon as something unexpected or unusual appears on the road.