Elon Musk makes changes to autopilot in Tesla cars

Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk has announced an update to the autopilot system that would have likely prevented the tragic Model S crash of May this year. The changes will primarily affect the radar and will be implemented within two weeks.

The changes to the autopilot system are the result of a tragic accident thatóry happened on May 7 in Florida. A 40-year-old driver whoóry podróA driver who was driving his Tesla Model S using the autopilot function was involved in an accident. Caród, for unexplained reasons, drove into another vehicle with a trailer that was passing across it. It was the trailer that got all the blame. It’s likely that the Model S’s algorithm interpreted the light-colored trailer as the sky and didn’t brake. The 40-year-old died at the scene.

Death in an autonomous vehicle

It is not clear why the driver did not take any action. The autopilot function is activated at the driver’s request. According to the man driving the caród with a trailer, the Tesla driver was watching a video behind the wheel of the car. He testified that shortly after the accident he heard the sounds of a movie playing. However, the manufacturer stipulates that the display in the Model S does not support video playbacków.

A death in an autonomous vehicle, as Tesla’s Model S must be considered, has cast a shadow over the entire vehicle segmentóin driverless cars. Musk seeking to reassure clientów and looking after the brand’s reputation had to make changes. That’s why the autopilot has been updated. In the new version, the Model S will be more „felt”, what’s going on atóand it’s happening. The updated system will temporarily prevent drivers from using it if they don’t respond to audible warnings to take control of the car.

"We will never be able to eliminate fatalities"

– Our radar update will be used much more efficiently – said Elon Musk. – It’s a dramatic improvement in the safety system – added. He also admitted that with the new version of autopilot, the 40-year-old would probably avoid death. He pointed out, however, that the new version does not guarantee total safety. – Complete safety is an impossible goal. We wanted to make it safer. We will never be able to eliminate fatalities or injuries – added Musk.

The revised system will issue warnings when a driver takes their hands off the wheel for more than a minute at speeds above 45 kilometersóin for an hour when there is no other vehicle in front. When the Model S is following another vehicle, warnings will be issued when the driver takes his hands off the wheel for more than three minutes. If the driver ignores three audible warnings within an hour, the system is temporarily disabled until the vehicle is parked.