Volvo Engineer Calls Tesla's Autopilot an 'Unsupervised Wannabe'

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

As Volvo gears up its self-driving car trials worldwide, one of the company’s engineers has called out Tesla’s Autopilot technology.

Tesla doesn’t claim its Autopilot system to be fully autonomous, but rather it allows vehicle owners to let their Model S or Model X take over driving on the highway. But in an interview with The Verge, senior technical leader of crash avoidance at Volvo, Trent Victor, called the technology “an unsupervised wannabe,” adding that it “gives you the impression that it’s doing more than it is.”

According to Victor, Volvo believes that semi-autonomous technology that requires a driver to take over at a moment’s notice is unsafe. The Swedish automaker believes it is unrealistic to expect the driver to be ready to take over, especially if the driver’s attention is diverted elsewhere while the car drives itself.

SEE ALSO: Volvo’s Self-Driving Cars are Heading to the UK Next Year

Volvo has a fleet of Drive Me fully autonomous vehicles that is capable of handling any situation it comes across without any human intervention, similar to what Google has been developing. “In our concept, if you don’t take over, if you have fallen asleep or are watching a film, then we will take responsibility still,” said Victor.

Then again, one could argue that’s Tesla’s ultimate goal, but it’s not something that it can currently roll out due to regulations. It is currently still unclear when governments worldwide will allow fully self-driving cars to be available to the public.

[Source: The Verge]

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Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • Craig Cole Craig Cole on May 03, 2016

    Whoa! Volvo's talking smack. I didn't expect that from polite, understated Swedes.

  • Poor Boy Poor Boy on May 03, 2016

    The engineer is understandably protective of the primary concern that comes to mind when the phrase "self driving" is used which is "safety" for which Volvo has always been the supposed leader, dating back to the Flintstones. But that not a license to be critical of someone else's effort like a schoolboy trying to attract the class beauty. In business and industry, you let your product do the talking.