Tesla Motors Model S Autopilot Feature Brings Out the Crazy and the Brave

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) released a new Autopilot software update for autonomous features in the Model S earlier this month. The new features allows the unique combination of cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors and data to automatically change lanes, follow other cars, and parallel park when autonomous mode is activated. It might interest you to know that the autopilot feature allows drivers to take a break from driving during optimal conditions just like the same systems airplane pilots use when conditions are clear.


Following the release of Autopilot, many Model S owners have been hitting the roads to test the limits of what a computer can do behind the wheels. In the last couple of weeks after the release of Autopilot, Tesla has been getting rave reviews for setting new standards for what is possible with driver assist systems. In fact, Tesla’s Model S undoubtedly boasts the most advanced driver assist systems available in the market – at least in terms of the ones available to the consumer market.

Tesla drivers hand over the wheels to computers

Tesla has given Model S driver the tools they need to have a glimpse of what the driverless cars of tomorrow would be like. To start with, many Model S drivers are posting several videos showing them driving without their hands On the first day of the new autopilot software update, Jake Auerbach posted a video in which the autopilot was in charge on long stretches of the highway.

Not long after, three guys did a coast-to-coast trip in a Model S in a record time of 57 hours and 48 minutes – the amazing part was that the autopilot feature was engaged for about 96% of the time. The tech space is also been wowed with an awesome video showing how Tesla’s autopilot feature is creepy and wonderful.

Drivers are acting crazy around autopilot

Tesla has mentioned that “the driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of the car.” However, most of the videos showing the autopilot in action have the drivers acting irresponsibly by disregarding Tesla’s warnings to keep their hands on the wheels all the time. The autopilot mode is meant to serve as a driving aid while ones hands are still on the wheel.

You’ll find several videos online in which drivers take on the Autopilot update as an avenue to display their bravery – and maybe craziness. In one video, a driver sits in the backseat of his car while using the Autopilot driving mode on the highway. Some believe that Tesla is partially at fault for tagging the software as an ‘autopilot’ instead of an assisted technology, which other competitors have used in marketing their features.

Autopilot 1.01 will soon be here

Tesla’s autopilot feature is not perfect. It still has trouble on roads with faded lanes, it swerves erratically occasionally, and you can’t get inside a Model S, punch in your destination, go to sleep, and wake up at your location yet – you’ll probably wake up in a hospital, if you do wake up.

However, CEO Elon Musk tweeted over the weekend that the Autopilot 1.01 software update coming soon will address some of the early issues, which includes adjusting speed on curves, controller smoothness, and better lane holding on poor roads and improved fleet learning. Tesla’s autopilot has amazed critics and fans, there’s no doubt that Autopilot 1.01 will drive us closer to the days of self-driving cars.

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