Ahhh, the venerable Autopilot system in most Teslas. Often referred to as “Self Driving” or “Autonomous”, has been dragged into some dark clouds by some drunk guy ploughing into a stationary Fire truck in San Jose, California.
TESLA near miss! For the 2nd time in recent months SJ FF’s escaped serious injury as a @teslamotors “Zero Emissions” vehicle slammed into the back of a #SJFD FireEngine @ 70 MPH on Hwy 101 at 1 am – Reportedly the vehicle was in auto mode but auto braking system was not engaged. pic.twitter.com/gDQzXrFZ5S
— SanJoseFireFighters (@SJFirefighters)
Now beyond even being able to disable auto braking whilst in Autopilot, it’s worth noting a few points. Often auto braking doesn’t always stop crashes but reduces the impact by shaving of speed before impact.
Plus, Autopilot is not a “self-driving mode” It is a driver assist system and drivers are always responsible for their driving whilst it’s on. It’s a tricky one as Tesla, on one hand, says it’s self-driving, whilst on the other points to it all being the driver’s problem when something goes wrong.
Clearly, the driver was mainly to blame as he wasn’t properly in control PLUS 37-year-old Michael Tran, was arrested for drink driving later that evening.