A new examine from Germanys Federal Highway Research Institute( BASt) found that the autopilot feature of the Tesla Model S constitutes a considerable traffic hazard, according to a report in Der Spiegel.
Unsurprisingly, Tesla CEO Elon Musk doesnt agree and today said in a tweet that those reports were not actually based on science, and repeated thatAutopilot is safer than manually driven cars.
Tesla reports that its vehicles drove more than1 30 million miles with Autopilot engaged before one was involved in a fatal accident .Statistically, that beats the safety record for manually driven autoes which are involved in a fatal crash every 100 million miles in the U.S ., according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety .
We reached out to Tesla Motor forfurther information. Executives were not immediately available to comment.
Its worth noting that Der Spiegel reports that the study was an internal one, and did not represent a final evaluation.
The new report was commissioned after an accidenton a German highway late last month. A Tesla Model S with the Autopilot engaged crashed into a bus. Nobody was hurt in the accident, but it did spur the agencyto take a closer look atTeslas Autopilot.
The report quotes a number of issues the testers procured with Teslas systems. Among other things, the car didnt follow the right road commemorates in a building zone and when there were no road commemorates, the car simply followed the vehicle in front of it.
Another problem the Tesla faced was due to the simple fact that there are still plenty of stretches on the German Autobahn where there are no velocity restrictions. The report says the cars sensors only look about 40 meters behind it.If the Tesla is going the standard Autobahn speed of 80 miles per hour but somebody is going 125 miles per hour in the left lane( or even faster ), thats not nearly enough.
Teslas Autopilot feature is billedas driver assistive , not fully autonomous, technology, but the German report notes that the name suggests otherwise. The company lately launched an Autopilot update and is expected to unveil more product news on October 17 th.
The writers of the German report actually argue that the Model S should be banned from German streets. The Transport Minister, though, is likely to ignore this according to Der Spiegel and instead plans to provide Tesla with a to be given to test the Autopilot in Germany.
While Muskdefended his companys technology against the German report on Twitter today, healso praised German lawmakers new resolution to prohibit gasoline and diesel vehiclesby 2030.