We currently live in an era of unparalleled active security in the automotive market: today's cars are extremely safe; they are actually safer than at any other moment in modern human history. The appearance of driving assistants not only prevents accidents, but also reduces their severity if they cannot be avoided. Tesla Autopilot system is one of the best on the market (if not the best); so good that a company executive has claimed that it prevents approximately 40 accidents every day: basically 40 drivers who give thanks every day for having the safety package in their car.
How can Tesla know this for sure? Mainly because as you already know, the Austin company closely monitors every car that comes off the assembly line. Teslas share huge, amazing amounts of information with headquarters in order to improve the user experience and improve the system with every feedback. This direct communication is what also allows it to determine the weak points of the FSD Beta package updates that the company's models are using right now. Each update is reviewed with the vast amount of data that instantly comes from drivers who are using the system, everywhere, in real time.
The person in charge of declaring such a (bold?) statement was no other than the director of Tesla's autopilot software, Ashok Elluswamy, during the speech at an important event on computer vision and pattern recognition. The high Tesla executive proudly referred to the good safety results that Autopilot is achieving, which is getting better and more precise with each passing day. The latest update, the so-called version FSD , is already rolling out to the first cars on the streets: a significant improvement that has also led to a new – and important - price increase of $15,000.
"Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” software, which currently costs $12K, will get a $3K price hike to $15K on September 5 in North America, coinciding with the wide release of the 10.69.2 Beta update." Do you think the update is worth it?https://t.co/yHA0BRAggU— TESBROS (@teslabros) August 22, 2022
Elluswamy says that the autonomous driving and safety program is able to react faster and more accurately than many – actually most - human drivers. One of the most common situations that normally occur is the improper use of car pedals; usually known as a "sudden involuntary acceleration": in this context the Tesla manager acknowledges that Autopilot avoids about 40 daily accidents of drivers who step on the accelerator, when they really wanted and needed to step on the brake.
MUSK BE KIDDING: The Tesla CEO tweeted the announcement on Saturday, stating that the price change will happen after the wide release of FSD Beta 10.69.2. https://t.co/EEUj5JjEQo pic.twitter.com/J0DxSjwhDs— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) August 22, 2022
Looking into the future, a small but important battle is being waged for increasing autonomy and effectiveness of current driving assistants. Tesla bets on an advanced set of cameras and visual recognition, and rapid action software. Other manufacturers are betting on the most modern LiDAR radars that promise greater effectiveness – supposedly - and a greater data collection range. The (near) future will finally dictate which technology is the one that ends up being widely implemented, but what is certain is that at the moment there is no 100% fully autonomous car on the roads yet, the actual safe driving measures always falling on the human driver.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.