In May, Joshua Brown was driving his Tesla Model S in Florida when the car – which had been set to Autopilot – ploughed into a lorry which had turned across his lane. The system failed to register the sudden change in direction, killing Brown and shining a spotlight on the security of driverless technology.
Despite the fact that all vehicles have weaknesses and that over a million people die behind the wheel each year, Tesla received a great deal of criticism regarding this particular collision. Instructions for all cars with this technology embedded clearly state that the driver must remain with their hands on the wheel and in full responsibility of the car, and that is only once they have explicitly stated that they understand the implications of the technology’s unfinished status.
Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, tweeted at the weekend he had enjoyed a promising call with Bosch – the creator of the Autopilot’s radar system – and that wireless improvement looked entirely possible.
Musk continues to stand by Tesla and its Autopilot function, despite the influential Consumer Reports magazine calling on the company to disconnect it.