Tesla Autopilot Function Enters Beta Testing Stage, Selected Customers Get to Try it

Tesla Autopilot 1 photo
Photo: Tesla Motors
Tesla Motors began uploading the latest version of the much-awaited Autopilot feature on a small group of Tesla Model S models with the drivers acting as beta testing for the company.
If you think this might turn out to be a dangerous decision, fret not, because Elon Musk thought about that already.

According to Spectrum IEEE, Tesla's beta testers will indeed be drivers, but Autopilot 7.0 represents only a minor step forward from the previous package of driver assistance features.

Cited by the same source, Elon Musk tried to explain that Autopilot and Autosteer are there to aid the driver, not to replace his or her duties behind the steering wheel.

This means Model S drivers will not be able to take their hands off the steering wheel and expect the car to safely take them home and park in the driveway.

"We don’t want to set the expectation that you can basically pay no attention to what the car is doing. You basically have high confidence in steering, braking and acceleration, basically when you are in some kind of traffic situation where there is a car right in front of you. I think it’s pretty good in the absence of that, so if there’s just lanes, it’s pretty good. And it will get better over time as we refine the software."

We know what you might think, given the recent car hacking trend the Autopilot is not a safe feature to use. Again, it's not the case to panic because the carmaker has already developed fixes for the total of six reported vulnerabilities.

Coming back to the Autopilot, drivers will still have the option of activating the automatic overpassing sequence by flicking the turn signal, and Tesla thinks this is safe for two reasons: first, the car is guided to pass by the driver and second, the driver evaluated the situation and decided the maneuver is safe.
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