With several new capabilities, the Tesla Autopilot Beta has rolled out to more customers in the United States. The result is promising but, in a sense, worrying.

Tesla expands beta of its autopilot more widely - Tesla expands beta of its autopilot more widely
Credits: Vlad Tchompalov / Unsplash.

The march of progress will not be interrupted: The Verge reports that Elon Musk said autopilot will benefit from a "Wide deployment" among Tesla car owners before the end of 2020. In the meantime, the automaker recently released the beta version of its Full Self-Driving mode To new customers. Several of them have shared their essays on the Internet, such as a certain Brandonee916 on Twitter who states below: “Not bad for a first try. "

As it stands, the automatic piloting of Tesla cars only gives access to certain advanced assisted driving capabilities in built-up areas. Tesla's autopilot does not yet take freeways into account and simply oscillates between top speeds of 40 to 56 km / h. Thanks to several updates – including, a few months ago, those allowing traffic lights to be taken into account – the autopilot nevertheless manages to stop at red lights and stop signs or make 90 ° turns without a hitch. The latest beta testers relate some worrying experiences but the feedback is mostly good. Even at night, on residential neighborhood roads without road markings, the tested autonomous vehicle – notably, the Tesla Model 3, for example – sticks well on its right side and respects the highway code when it approaches an intersection or even a roundabout, stopping automatically for a brief moment to check the traffic conditions before entering. Throughout the test, a screen reproduces the situation virtually, identifying each third-party car or passing by a " hit box »Digital with precision.

A promising but worrying beta

Despite this encouraging potential, Tesla reiterates that autopilot “Should only be used by attentive drivers, who keep both hands on the wheel. " The system has indeed been responsible for several incidents in the past.. The Verge recalls that some of them were fatal. The US media also gave the floor to an expert on the issue, Ed Niedermeyer, communications director for the Association of Partners for Education in Autonomous Vehicles. He noticed that “Having untrained consumers test beta-level autopilot on public roads is dangerous and at odds with industry standards. " In addition, according to him, if such a system requires the assistance and the supervision of a human to function in a secure manner, “It shouldn't be called autopilot. "