Tesla Working to Improve AutoPilot Safety

Tesla Working to Improve AutoPilot Safety

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has once again taken to Twitter to announce some upgrades coming to the brand’s AutoPilot system. 

Musk claims that after a conversation with Bosch and MobilEye, the companies that supply the sensors that enable AutoPilot, he is confident that “significant improvements [are] possible via OTA software update.”

A fatal crash that occurred while AutoPilot was active prompted these updates, which will focus on making sure that Tesla’s system can see and process all obstacles around it. In that case, Musk claims that the car didn’t notice the white side of a tractor trailer against a bright sky, causing the car to run into the back of the truck. Although it was confirmed that the driver was watching a movie and wasn’t paying attention, Tesla is addressing the issue. “Working on using existing Tesla radar by itself (decoupled from camera) w temporal smoothing to create a coarse point cloud, like lidar,” tweeted Musk. This would allow the radar’s data to be processed separately from the camera system.

SEE ALSO: Consumer Reports Calls Tesla’s AutoPilot ‘Misleading and Potentially Dangerous’

The brand has been under fire since AutoPilot was blamed for the fatal crash, most notably by Consumer Reports, who are calling for the auto-steering function within AutoPilot to be disabled.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now investigating the incident, though Tesla has consistently said that drivers should be aware that their hands are required to be on the wheel at all times. In fact, every time AutoPilot is activated, a note is displayed to the driver that reminds them that AutoPilot “is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times,” and that “you need to maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle.”

Tesla is currently planning its 8.0 software upgrade that will likely contain the changes to AutoPilot. Musk says that this will be largest update since the vehicle first launched. “V8 will be our biggest release since v1, so taking longer to refine. Awesome on every level. Meeting w design team every day,” said Musk.

A selection of Musk’s tweets have been embedded below.

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