The self-driving software is beginning to take bigger chances, it seems.
Whether we like it or not, driverless cars are coming. Recently, GM's Mary Barra took a ride in a fully autonomous Chevrolet Bolt and walked away absolutely amazed. The advanced technology enabled the Bolt to pull up to the curbside and drop the CEO off without fuss.
But if you think that was incredible, this will astound you. In the video below, a Tesla equipped with the brand's Full-Self Driving Beta software recognizes a small gap in the traffic and, astoundingly, performs a rather risky maneuver. Leaving a parking lot, the Model 3 squeezes between a stationary Ford Fusion and Mercedes-Benz GLC, pausing briefly to monitor the conditions and then setting off.
Based on the driver's reaction, the Tesla's seemingly impulsive decision was certainly unexpected. While we commend the software's ability to act so decisively and pull off such a daring move, the FSD Beta software has not been without its faults. In November last year, the owner of a Model Y was involved in an accident that he claims occurred when the software was engaged.
"While taking a left turn the car went into the wrong lane and I was hit by another driver in the lane next to my lane." While the driver admits his electric SUV did alert him to the impending collision, it was too late to do anything by then.
Not long after the incident, Tesla asked owners who use FSD Beta if it can use footage recorded by the various cameras fitted to the vehicle in case of a safety risk or accident. This was a first for the American carmaker. Previously, it has never used footage from specific vehicles, however, the reported reason is legal liability. Footage can be used as evidence in an accident where the software is being blamed, for example.
Prior to the aforementioned accident, almost 12,000 vehicles were recalled in the USA. A communication problem may have caused Tesla vehicles to display a false collision warning or apply automatic emergency braking when not needed.
While the Model 3 seen in the video completed the unprotected left turn smoothly, it could be considered a dangerous maneuver even when carried out by a human driver. Is Tesla's FSD Beta software daring or downright dangerous? It's too early to tell, for now.