Elon Musk Denies Claims Tesla Will Switch off Autopilot, Prepares Blog Post

Tesla Autopilot - you're doing it wrong 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
A recent story published by the Wall Street Journal claimed that Tesla was thinking about disabling the Autopilot feature for those drivers that don’t use it properly. This sounds like something even Elon Musk, with his well-known dictatorial tendencies, would have seconds thoughts about. After all, it would turn him into something of a Soup Nazi. “No Autopilot for you!”
This idea came up following the recent crashes involving Tesla’s driving aid feature, one of which – as you probably know already – resulted in the death of the driver. Ever since the Autopilot was introduced in autumn 2015, videos with people abusing the system began to show on the Internet, and one can only imagine that these weren’t isolated cases, but other people did it as well without filming themselves.

The media immediately said that these people were accidents waiting to happen, and so Tesla took the first measure and made touching the steering wheel mandatory. Well, kind of. However, that didn’t prevent those too lazy to drive from laying back and letting the vehicle’s AI do all the work. Which was strongly against Tesla’s recommendations.

As unlikely as it sounded, shutting down Autopilot for those who misuse it would probably be the only effective solution to this problem, but not completely fail-proof. Unless this killswitch could be activated remotely and instantly, the mere fear of losing the semi-autonomous features would probably not be enough to prevent future incidents.

In an interview with the same publication, Elon Musk debunked the rumors about blocking access to Autopilot for reckless users, and announced instead that the company is readying another blog post that aims to clarify what the feature is and what exactly it is that it does. And, probably, what it doesn’t do. “A lot of people don’t understand what it is and how you turn it on,” Musk said, also reiterating the safety mantra he’s been bringing up lately every time the Autopilot subject comes up: “We knew we had a system that on balance would save lives.”

Somebody should tell Musk that you can’t solve every problem by writing tweets and blog posts. Sometimes, more practical measures are required. Perhaps it is too late now, but renaming the Autopilot into something that reflects more closely its current abilities would have helped. But let's not be too hasty: we haven't read his blog post yet.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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