US Senators insist that Tesla ‘follow the law,’ while the company wants its cars to drive themselves without human monitoring.
Self-driving is no longer a concept as the Tesla auto-pilot feature has brought the future to us more quickly than we would have anticipated two decades ago. However, despite its innovations, the electric car company seems incapable of escaping the law that a human must be behind the wheels at all times.
In a letter to US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey, Rohan Patel, senior director of public policy at Tesla, claimed that its cars’ ‘Autopilot and FSD (Full self-driving)’ features can drive safer than the average US driver.
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This letter did not just come out of the blue as it is aimed at addressing concerns that Tesla owners were abusing the self-driving features. As Patel himself concedes, the systems may be impressive but cannot replace a human driver completely. he said that they would still require ‘constant monitoring and attention of the driver.’
Reports show that complacency is the leading cause of crashes involving Teslas. That is, drivers are not paying attention and putting their entire trust in AI.
The way forward is for the company to put advanced driver monitoring systems in place. For example, eye-tracking systems, something The Verge pointed out are available in GM and Ford cars, to ensure that drivers are attentive even when autopilot is engaged.
In response to the letter, the senators insist that Tesla should prioritise safety and follow highway laws.
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