Autonomous cars are the future, and there is no argument against it that makes sense. Sure, they are still very much in their infancy and their reliability is still questionable, but they are the future nonetheless. Tesla is one of the pioneers in this technology and already has its semi-autonomous system, known as Autopilot, on the market. Recently, one driver was caught using this system to catch a little shut-eye in a traffic jam.
That’s right, the video below shows what appears to be a Tesla Model S driver sawing serious logs while his Model S does the dirty work for him. As entertaining as this seems, it is actually one of the biggest arguments opponents of autonomous vehicles make. They fear that drivers will get too reliant on these automated systems and use their drive time for other tasks, or in this case drifting off into dreamland, when they actually need to be prepared to intervene should the system fail.
What really makes this video outrageous is the fact that the Model S’ Autopilot feature is far from fully automated. Sure, it will handle basic driving duties, including traffic, but it may still need the driver to intervene from time to time and requires your hands on the wheel when auto-steer is enabled. When it needs the driver’s attention or notices the driver’s hands are not on the wheel, it’ll sound an alarm until the driver grabs the wheel. Luckily, If the driver doesn’t take control, the system will throw on the hazards and slowly move the car to the side of the road. These latter safety features leave me wondering how this dude managed to keep the Autopilot system engaged while he examined his eyelids.
Regardless, just remember that this is not the purpose of autonomous cars, folks…