Studies predict that accidents will drop by 80% by 2040 with the full implementation of fully-autonomous self-driving vehicles.
As it stands today, legal, regulatory, and technical hurdles have prohibited self-driving cars from transitioning from fantasy to reality, and with at least four people dying in car accidents while using Tesla’s Autopilot semi-autonomous feature engaged, consumers still have trust issues.
Wellll, most of them.
A driver on the Massachusetts Turnpike Sunday spotted a fellow driver fully passed out behind the wheel of his Tesla.
According to WHDH, Dakota Randall said he was driving on the major highway by Newton Corner Sunday afternoon when he took out his phone to film the scene (what’s more dangerous?).
“I was just so baffled that I honked a couple of times because I was like, you guys, you might want to wake up,” Randall said to WHDH TV News 7 Boston.
“At no point did I feel like I was in danger until after the fact, when I thought ‘Wow, I was just driving next to somebody who was completely asleep on the Mass Pike of all places, like one of the most dangerous roads I can imagine,” Randall said. “But yeah, the car stayed the same speed in the same way on the highway, and yeah, it didn’t change at all. It was weird.”
A State Police spokesman said while no report has been filed about the incident, a sleeping driver would probably be charged with negligent and impaired driving.
Tesla Autopilot, a feature that costs an additional $5,000, is an advance driver-assistance system using eight cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a forward-facing radar to self-steer, adjust speed, detect nearby obstacles, apply brakes, and summon the car to and from a garage or parking spot. It is arguably the most advanced autonomous driving features that is currently available to everyday drivers.
However, vehicles cannot drive completely autonomously and the feature requires active driver supervision. The car will yell at you if it senses there is no pressure on the wheel for an elongated amount of time.
This dude in the video below is fantastic in detailing the Tesla Autopilot features and makes it clear that we aren’t far from fully autonomous vehicles.