According to Consumer Reports, Tesla is using vehicle owners as beta testers, putting others on the road at risk.
According to Consumer Reports (CR), Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” software raises worries that the autopilot system’s use on public highways puts pedestrians, bikers, and other automobile drivers who are ignorant of the experiment at risk.
Tesla issued its FSD Beta 9 version to Tesla owners who had paid the FSD option access earlier in July. The Verge said that it allows drivers to employ some of Autopilot’s advanced driver-assist capabilities on local and non-highway roadways.
According to Jake Fisher, senior director of CR’s Auto Test Center, “videos showing FSD beta 9 in operation do not reveal a system that makes driving safer or even less stressful.” “Consumers are just paying to be test engineers for technological development that lacks proper safety protection.”
Tesla drivers using the upgraded FSD Beta 9 software are seen missing turns, going towards parked cars, and scraping against shrubs in social media videos.
Elon Musk’s cautious remark on Twitter that “Beta 9 addresses most known issues, but there will be unforeseen concerns, so please be paranoid” is also referenced in the report.
“Tesla cannot simply ask people to pay attention; the technology must ensure that people are engaged once the system is operational,” Fisher explained. He went on to say, “We already know that testing developing self-driving technologies without sufficient driver support can—and will—end in fatalities.”
Tesla should deploy an in-car driver monitoring system, according to Fisher, to ensure that drivers keep their eyes on the road and avoid accidents.
CR has not yet independently tested the software, but will to do so after its Model Y receives the Beta 9 upgrade.
The autopilot has been involved in at least three Tesla vehicle crashes in the United States since 2016, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), according to Reuters.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a standing general order in June requiring car manufacturers and operators to report crashes involving automated driving systems.
“Safety is the primary purpose of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “By requiring collision reporting, the agency will have access to important data that will assist swiftly uncover safety vulnerabilities that may arise in these automated systems,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “In reality, obtaining data will assist to reassure the public that the federal government is closely monitoring the safety of autonomous vehicles.”