Sometimes it takes a human to predict human stupidity and act accordingly.
One agenda the news has been pushing recently, in part to inform us and in part to scare us into reading more news, is the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence. Tesla’s Autopilot is pretty intelligent, offering one of the best mass-market semi-autonomous systems, but it might not quite be ready for us to give it full confidence yet. Take this instance from Model S YouTuber Jon Hall as an example of that and a good lesson as to why Autopilot users should remain ready to take over at any moment.
While driving down a dark freeway with Autopilot engaged and passengers in the rear (according to the video description, the driver works for Uber), the driver and passengers come up to a part of the freeway where traffic has stopped. Looking to escape the clog, a Ford Escape turns on its blinker.
Without looking, the Ford plunges into the adjacent lane, the same one with the Model S coming right at it at a high rate of speed, and sends the Tesla driver scurrying into the lane next to him to avoid a serious accident. The driver of the Ford is at fault, but the important thing to take away from this accident is the fact that the Autopilot systems didn’t even see it coming. The driver was the one who overrode the software and saved the day, but that’s not really a fault of the Tesla. Quicker thinking software would help, but this avoidance maneuver was pulled off by human intuition, essentially one human knowing that humans are dumb and prone to accidents and being prepared for it.