Did you hear? Self-driving cars are here! Or at least that’s what the headlines suggested last week, as Tesla released an update for their pricey cars to enable a new “autopilot” system. As it turns out, the new system isn’t new – but the deployment is. And, unfortunately, that’s what makes it so dangerous. Tesla is setting expectations for their “autopilot” system much higher than what the car can actually do – and someone is probably going to get killed.
Let’s start by reviewing some of the Friday headlines:
- Welcome to the self-driving car revolution: Tesla releases Autopilot patch (Computer World)
- Tesla rolls out self driving car software (Ft.com)
- Tesla cars gain self-driving sentience overnight (WaPo)
- With New Software Rollout, Tesla Accelerates Toward Fully Self-Driving Cars (Recode)
- Tesla amps up Model S self-driving capabilities with firmware update (Extreme Tech)
The Washington Post had an especially starry eyed (and factually incorrect) write up, which reads like a PR dream: