Elon Musk makes his Tesla Autopilot almost too protective of pedestrians

Tesla has just pushed its latest update to 100,000 cars validated for the Full Self-driving beta program. To put an end to all the controversy over the risks of crushing pedestrians, Elon Musk indicates that he has increased their protection.

Elon Musk is sticking to the deadlines he had announced for the deployment of the new version of his autonomous driving system. For the 100,000 Tesla drivers selected to integrate this beta of the autonomous driving system (FSD, or Full Self-Driving), version 10.69.2 has just been released. sent this September 12, 2022 to their vehicle. This software update incorporates many changes to the system, but Elon Musk has decided to focus on pedestrian safety.

As if to definitively turn the page on the public campaign to denigrate his autonomous system, Elon Musk insisted on the overprotection of pedestrians by announcing the release of this new version of the software. Elon Musk doing nothing by chance, we can see it as a snub to his main detractor Dan O’Dowd, and his Dawn Project.

Tesla’s system is almost a little too protective

As often, as soon as a new version is available, beta testers rushed to the road to test the changes made by the update. While some developments are beneficial, others sometimes seem to regress the autonomous driving system.

Protecting vulnerable people on the road (pedestrians, cyclists, scooters, etc.) is more than necessary. However, the unpredictable reactions of the system should not lead to more accidents between motorists. Axa indicated in a study that drivers of electric vehicles would have more collisions than others. We can nevertheless point out that this study is not very serious and remember that Axa did not hesitate to distort a Tesla crash test.

It can be observed in the next video, directed by Kim Paquette. The Tesla is able to smash suddenly without warning, because the system detects a pedestrian who might want to cross, according to the training of its neural network. Other times, the vehicle waits a long time, so that the pedestrian is well out of its field of action to start moving forward. These reactions, which are not those natural to a human driver, could pose problems of cohabitation with other vehicles.

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving system is evolving in a rather interesting way, but we are still quite far from Elon Musk’s promises, for the moment.

“Billions of miles of real-world training will make FSD superhuman”

Elon Musk remains convinced that AI, and therefore its autopilot, will do better than humans in the future. However, he remains realistic on the fact that there is still a long way to go before reaching this objective, since he himself said in a tweet on September 12: “ Real-world validation and billions of real-world training miles will make FSD superhuman. »

This version 10.69.2 of the Tesla autonomous driving software in any case allows Elon Musk to put an end to the controversy accusing Tesla of poor detection of pedestrians, and more particularly of children. This should be the case at least until the next update, which in turn may bring changes to the previous one. Tesla has accustomed us to these vagaries: a software beta which arrives by correcting a bug, but reactivates others which had disappeared. Beta testers are never at the end of their surprises.

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