Tesla Faces Backlash Over Autopilot Technology in Wake of Crash

Tesla Model S, Image: Tesla Motors

Safety advocates are claiming Tesla’s reputation as a top innovator in the automotive globe could breed overconfidence in its new technology, placing drivers in danger.

The May possibly 7 death of a Tesla driver whose automobile collided with a tractor trailer even though in “Autopilot” mode sparked renewed calls for proper vetting of sophisticated technologies in production vehicles — particularly if the technologies permits the car to drive itself.

Joshua Brown was killed on a Florida highway after his 2015 Tesla Model S’s Autopilot mistook a brightly-lit tractor trailer crossing the highway as the sky. The autonomous driving system didn’t react to the obstacle, leading to a fatal collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now investigating the Model S and its Autopilot method.

Following the crash, the truck’s driver, Frank Baressi, claimed the victim was watching a film at the time of the crash, saying he could hear the film Harry Potter playing from the Tesla’s wreckage.

Tesla automobiles cannot play videos on their infotainment screens, but Reuters now reports that the Florida Highway Patrol located a portable, aftermarket DVD player in the wreckage of Brown’s automobile. Brown was a great fan of Tesla and its Autopilot technology, uploading many dashcam videos to his YouTube page, including one particular displaying the system avoiding a collision with a truck earlier this year.

Police said no video recording device — mounted to the dash or elsewhere — was discovered in the wreckage.

Tesla markets the Autopilot program as a driver’s help, preserving that drivers nonetheless need to have to be conscious of their surroundings and prepared to respond to danger although the program is activated. The mere presence of the technologies, nonetheless, could lead to overconfidence in its abilities.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, criticized the practice of “beta” testing — getting shoppers test and help increase new technology by way of genuine-globe use.

“Allowing automakers to do their personal testing, with no distinct guidelines, indicates consumers are going to be the guinea pigs in this experiment,” stated Gillan. “This is going to take place once more and once more and once more.”

Joan Claybrook, automotive safety advocate and former NHTSA director, said the “trial-and-error technique” is a threat to public security.

“The history of the auto market is they test and test and test,” she told Bloomberg. “This is a life-and-death issue.”

Anticipate the Florida crash to make other automakers further cautious about perfecting their own autonomous driving technology (or semi-autonomous driving aids) ahead of generating it offered in production cars. In March, NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind gave the regulator a six month timeline in which to develop federal rules for self-driving vehicles.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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BMW’s Game Strategy: Connectivity, Autonomous Technology and a Complete Lot of Plug-ins

2016 BMW i8 Hybrid Exterior-006

BMW Group is laying out its game program for the future, and it contains a lot of new electric vehicles.

Beyond the marketing and advertising buzzwords, there’s a lot similarity amongst BMW’s program, released yesterday, and those of so several other automakers: developing higher-tech comfort and connectivity into their vehicles, diversifying their electric offerings, building autonomous driving technologies, and making the customer really feel additional special.

The quick effect on BMW’s rolling stock will be an expanded “i” variety of all-electric or plug-in hybrid models, beginning with a convertible version of the i8 and a longer-ranged version of the i3 by the end of this year.

A plug-in Mini is the next new model on BMW’s radar. In total, the automaker desires to have seven models in the “i” range.

In addition to gas and electric, BMW plans to continue development of hydrogen fuel cell technologies in the hope that all 3 propulsion types can one particular day be applied to a single platform. It’s a move towards the adaptable architecture several automakers are pursuing.

Although BMW’s “project i” tackles electric automobile technologies, “project i two.0″ is made to mate that expertise with autonomous driving technologies.

“Our focus is clear: we are securing the BMW Group’s position as technological industry leader,” stated Klaus Fröhlich, the board member accountable for improvement, in a statement.

“With project i two. we will lead the field of autonomous driving. We will turn investigation projects into new kinds of industrial processes, bringing future technologies onto the road.”

Crucial areas of concentrate will be digital maps, sensor technologies, cloud technology and artificial intelligence. Some of the automaker’s early development of self-driving technology can be seen in the self-parking 7-series new advancements will be added on as the technology becomes offered on much more models.

Like other automakers, all of BMW’s new technologies is not necessarily going to be created in-home. By way of its BMW i Ventures group, the automaker plans to maintain an eye on independent startups, investing in them if necessary in order to capitalize on specific products or emerging trends.

The improvement of mobility services will continue alongside automobile technologies.

Regardless of its pursuit of a connected, driverless future, the automaker plans to continue wringing efficiencies out of its internal combustion engines, although expanding these model lines.

Every single enterprise wants income to develop, and BMW says it knows exactly where to uncover it: at the best end of the market place. A planned premium SUV, the X7, is designed to meet public’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for ultra-luxury utility vehicles while delivering a high rate of return.

When you are arranging on changing the (driving) world, you have to be truthful about where the funds will come from.

[Image: © Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars]

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