You must crack a few eggs to make an autonomous omelet.
Ingenuity is a strange thing indeed because throughout history, most of the technology we have worked so hard to create is intended to do little more than complete a task that people have done by themselves for a long time. Now we have smartphone apps that eliminate the headache of calling in to order food or flagging down a cab, and voice command systems save the few extra seconds of time that it would take to input something into our smartphones. The funny thing is that these innovations take as much work to create as the work they eliminate.
The problem is that just like any technology, these gadgets are prone to failure so the systems also need to evolve and become more sophisticated as demands increase. This is what Tesla has just done for the self-park feature on its Model S and X via an update to a phone app. Earlier we brought you news about an angry Tesla owner who’s Model S crashed into the back of a truck when using the “summon” feature. The owner blames Tesla’s technology even though the data log on the Model S says that it was an error of the driver, citing that the system requires the driver to use their smartphone app to pilot the car while supervising. The app has a dead man’s switch that will stop the car if the user lets go of the summon button.
However, the feature can be overridden, which may have happened here. Regardless of who is at fault, Tesla has updated the app to put an end to such accidents. Instead of having the driver supervise the car’s actions, the app now presents the car’s preplanned route on the screen of the smartphone and the driver must confirm the route before the car starts moving. Aside from the dead man’s switch and the new update, the system emphasizes safety by allowing for a maximum speed of 1 mph when completing these maneuvers without a driver in the captain’s chair. Another feature that could be added is a sensor that monitors overhead dangers because it seems like this Tesla may have not “seen” the raised rear end of the truck.