What Elon Musk has to say on Tesla Accidents is something which a large fraction of Tesla fleet owners and to-be owners of the Tesla Fleet are waiting for to hear for. Tesla Accidents in the recent past have made a lot of people to raise eyebrows with regard to the safety of Self-Driving Cars. The tragic incident occurred in March when a Tesla Model S crashed on to highway barrier resulting in the death of Walter Huang (38). This incident raised serious concerns with regard to the Autopilot Technology and also affected Tesla’s Stock at Wall Street. But, the real question here is, should a handful of incidents be used as the prime judging factor for nearly eliminating all of the people’s trust in Autonomous Navigation Technology?
Elon Musk dashed out against Washington Post when the Tesla Accidents took the front page. His tweet read as “It’s super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in US auto accidents alone in past year get almost no coverage”. Musk does have a point here. His tweet addresses and questions a bigger picture. Compared to the fact that 95% of accidents that happen today are a result of human errors, the self-driving cars have had only a few
However, highlighting a few instances of autonomous car crashes and using this news to take away the confidence of people from the technology entirely is not the correct mannerism. What this actually does is that it completely lashes out against the entire technology by keeping only a few examples as the baseline and ignoring a lot more of the bigger picture.
Musk also adheres to the fact that no Technology is perfect. This is the same for the Self-Driving Cars as well. Even in the case of humans, when you actually set out with your car, the probability of getting into a crash is 50 percent – you either get crashed or you don’t. The probability of a crash-free ride is never zero or one. Musk also asserts that the probability of crashing with the Auto Pilot is just less and not zero. What Elon Musk has to say on Tesla Accidents is straight and simple – The system worked as described. It is a hands-on system and not a completely self-driving system. This requires the driver to be attentive and focused at all times.
Following the light of the recent accident, Tesla had released its statement which said: “The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver’s
hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision”.
Musk is very serious when it comes to Tesla. He himself spends a lot of time working at the Tesla Plant. He attributes his presence in the factory to the fact that it helps him see and troubleshoot issues in real time.
Elon Musk has always been receptive and appreciative of feedbacks when it comes to the Autonomous Technology in Tesla. In an interview with the CBS This Morning, Musk described this phase of production as ‘Production Hell’ and that the current phase is far worse than what he had expected. He attributes this to the Compliance Issues with some of their core technology. He also admits to the fact that they may have put too much new technology into the Tesla Model 3 and that it should have been staged first.
He also asserted that a lot of analysts and critics underestimate Tesla by looking only at the past and use the same as a proxy to the future. Through this statement here, he makes a really good point. They currently have lots of Tesla fleet on the road, all of them combined have driven around 1.3 billion rides with the Autopilot Technology. Only negligible number of them have been in crashes. Why then, are only a few instances being used to pull down the Autopilot technology.
Though Tesla has been undergoing a lot of scrutiny in lieu of the accidents that had taken place, one main point to note here is that, Musk along with his team putting their fullest in terms of time, knowledge and expertise to overcome all the current issues faced by the Tesla’s Cars.
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