Tesla Autopilot continues to be taboo to many people, and it is understandable. In a world where people have absolute control over everything in their life, it is tough to assume many people would be comfortable with their car driving itself. But the issue is, many people, countries, and entities are not willing to give the self-driving characteristic a chance.
Despite Autopilot’s impressive performance figures, Germany announced this week that Tesla could not use the word “Autopilot” in any advertising, because it still requires the driver to remain attentive during its use. But the problem is, Autopilot, in any sense of the word, doesn’t state the vehicle in question can operate entirely on its own. Tesla’s description of the function also requires the driver to keep their hands on the wheel at all times in case of an emergency.
But the issue really comes down to the taboo subject of self-driving vehicles. To my surprise, many people outside the Tesla community are still uninformed and misguided on Autopilot’s capabilities. Every time one of my friends or family members see a Tesla, they automatically think it’s driving itself, and the operator is sitting in the passenger seat playing on their phone.
We all know that Autopilot doesn’t work that way. And even though Tesla is head and shoulders above the competition in terms of self-driving capabilities, they still can’t drive themselves, but the company has never indicated that their vehicles are fully autonomous.
The Tesla community knows that.
However, there are groups of people and even entire countries that still seem to believe that Tesla’s Autopilot claims are unrealistic and “misleading.” In reality, the company’s cars do exactly what the electric automaker claims they do.
This is not the first time a country has thrown Autopilot away because Israel altogether outlawed any use of the capability in the past. However, after revisiting the case, Israel government officials got a more concrete understanding of how Autopilot works, and they allowed the use of the feature by vehicles that were capable of using it.
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In my opinion, everyone who is skeptical of Autopilot, especially those who are government officials, should be required to undergo a crash course of the feature and take a ride in a Tesla vehicle while it is using the characteristic.
However, there is something even more surprising to me personally about all of the taboo there is surrounding Autopilot. More of it is from Tesla skeptics and TSLAQ, but you rarely hear about Autopilot navigating through tricky road layouts on mainstream media outlets. It is more about Tesla vehicles that were using Autopilot, ending up in accidents.
Teslarati has covered a series of examples of Autopilot navigating plenty of interesting terrains and situations with relative ease. We cover accidents, too, but we clarify how they occurred. For example, this past week, a Model S collided with a State Trooper and an Ambulance. However, the driver was under suspicion for DUI, although it has not yet been confirmed.
Autopilot is a way for drivers to take the stress out of driving. I know, personally, that I don’t like driving very much. I was in two car accidents in high school, I was not the driver in either instance. Along with seeing accidents on I-95 near Baltimore and other winding backroads near my house, drivers scare me, and I rarely trust anyone operating a car that I’m in.
I would feel safer if Autopilot was operating every car on the road. Not only would the cars get better every single day because of Tesla’s Neural Net, but people wouldn’t be so unpredictable with their driving behavior, and I genuinely believe we all would be much better off.
In the past, technological advancements have been second-guessed. At one time, NASA launched a spaceship to the Moon, and it used less technology than an iPhone. Things advance and opinions change on something. People are going to eventually warm up to the idea of a car driving itself, and there is a chance that even the most vocal skeptics of the self-driving car movement will ultimately utilize the capability to get them from Point A to Point B.
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