You may have heard about the groundbreaking feature in Tesla automobiles called Autopilot. This system helps drivers change lanes and brake more safely and accurately. It can also assist them in backing out and parallel parking, and even pick them up without a driver from a location close by. This technology is amazing, you might think, and you would be right. However, you and other Louisiana residents should understand that new technologies are rarely without limitations.
Can you just get into your Tesla car, turn on Autopilot and cruise down the road with your hands and attention free to do other tasks? Unfortunately, the Autopilot feature is not yet that futuristic. This may not deter some Tesla owners from assuming Autopilot will do most of the driving for them, however. This is why it is crucial to fully understand how to operate innovative new systems, rather than make assumptions that can be dangerous. According to Business Insider, the Autopilot feature may reduce the risk of accidents by up to 50 percent, but drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention to the road.
You should also understand that Autopilot is not infallible. If the vehicle’s sensors or exterior cameras become dirty, damaged or covered in debris, the system’s reliability may be compromised. Moving objects in traffic may also confuse the system, which is why Autopilot is not recommended for city traffic – drivers are cautioned only to use Autopilot on freeways.
It may be some time yet before self-driving vehicles become commonplace. Until then, drivers who own Tesla vehicles should be as cautious behind the wheel as anyone else and remember that the Autopilot feature is meant to enhance safety and convenience, not to take over the task of driving.