Tesla’s Promise of Self-Driving-Cars Isn’t what Most People Expect it to Be


Jet Miller, Staff Writer

Tesla has made the announcement that the new Model 3 Tesla will offer an extra $5,000 feature for a car that offers “Full-self-driving car,” but is it really the spectacular technology we’ve been waiting for?

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, is currently being blamed for “overselling, and loosely defining” these features. Experts claim that the new feature doesn’t enable your car to fully drive itself, as it is only made for minor jobs such as keeping up with cars on the freeway, or “driving through city streets,” According to experts, for a car to be completely autonomous, a person could hypothetically fall asleep at the wheel, without risk or consequence. The vehicle requires human oversight still, and the fine print on Tesla’s order page tells drivers that even with the feature turned on, the vehicle isn’t truly autonomous.

This news has recently been angering many autonomous vehicle experts, who claim the vehicle could be extremely dangerous if people put too much trust in their car. The new promise raises concerns from many people, such as Dean Pomerleau of Carnegie Mellon University, who in 1995, according to CNN Business, “drove a self-steering minivan across the country,” and has expressed his great concerns several times.

However, according to Tesla, the new car “…provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously, and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses.” CEO Elon Musk claims, “The vehicle will be fully self-driving with no human intervention by 2020.” These claims attract some disbelief, for in 2016, he promised a car would be able to drive autonomously, across the US by 2017, but that goal was not achieved until 2019.

Despite this, Elon Musk remains certain his goal will be achieved by late 2020, claiming, “I would say I am certain of that. That is not a question mark.” Experts believe that a part of this misconception is that there is no “legal definition” for self-driving cars, which can seriously confuse people on the amount of supervision they need to dedicate to the car.

Tesla announced the car last Thursday, and claimed it would be available to purchase “soon”. The new car worries many people, but Tesla claims the car is capable of seeing more things around it, therefore is safer than a human driver. We’ll just have to wait and see what the new Tesla feature means for us, and the future of autonomous driving.