The future of autopilot driving

Nathen Carney, Junior Writer

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Within the past five years the automotive industry has gone through a massive amount of development and growth of technology. The newest technology being thrown around is the autopilot, or self-driving, feature.

This technology has been introduced to the automotive world with Tesla, the electric only vehicle company. Tesla added this autopilot feature to their model S P85D available for a $2,500 up-charge on the already expensive $79,000 car. This sounds great a car with a five digit price that will drive itself, but like the band Poison once said, “every rose has its thorn.”

Tesla has been tweaking and testing self driving technology for years, but nothing will ever be perfect. Tesla is going through numerous problems of people relying on the auto-pilot feature and the car’s sensors reading the roads wrong.

This then generates numerous questions the largest question being, has Tesla launched their autopilot features too soon within the stages of development?

Tesla is going to run into a problem if they can’t outdo themselves with new and improved technology programming within their self-driving vehicles. Now Tesla has the pressure of everyone anticipating an improved, safe,  pin point accurate technology that will either make Tesla skyrocket in sales or completely crumble.

Besides the crashes Tesla has experienced many people say self-driving cars just are not a good option whether the fail or not. When asked Senior Quintin Smith how he felt about self driving cars and Tesla’s recent autopilot faulty system he responded saying, “I think Auto pilot takes away from the human aspect of driving cars we have worked so hard to build and develop cars and we are now just taking them away from ourselves because self driving cars are mainly a robot not a vehicle” Senior Terrence Payne shared a similar view on Tesla and their autopilot feature as he said, “If you have a bunch of stupid robots driving there is a problem they need more research on self-driving and people should have to control there car.”

The two most recent crashes of tesla’s model S was later found to be using the

autopilot feature. Tesla did send an alert advising not to use the feature in the area they were in, but the alert was ignored. This then caused the vehicle to read an incorrect line leading to the off-ramp on the freeway, this then caused the car to go head on into a cement barrier. Now the question is the driver at fault for ignoring the warning or is Tesla at fault for a faulty system.

Senior Leroy Farr proclaimed his thoughts on the development of self driving cars saying, “Self driving ain’t for me, but if someone wants it you do you i will be able to drive my own ” The responses that Tesla gets on their products is either you love it or hate it. Many people state that self-driving vehicles will be a concept for the upcoming generation, but many people are unhappy and even defensive to the fact of all electric and self driving vehicles.

This may be a thing of the future, but there is still many factors that tesla and Other similar companies must start to take into consideration. The times we have been grown and raised in either loves big lifted trucks that roal coal, cars with huge rear tires that let a 800 horsepower engine with no exhaust hook and book down the road, a lowered car with small wheels that have no tread and huge wing allowing it to drift even the slightest corner, or a six to 7 digit price tag on a foreign car that can barely be driven on a regular road. The other part that doesn’t love those cars just doesn’t have an interest in cars they just want something that looks cool. That is going to be a problem for the electric self driving cars that have no sound and leave the driver useless.

The automotive industry is silently waiting to see how the electric car company will handle the situation. This may be a small fix or a need for enhanced surrounding monitor and GPS technology. Elon Musk the owner of Tesla and SpaceX recently shared his views on the Tesla autopilot failure saying “Nothing in the real world is perfect. But I do think that long term, it can reduce accidents by a factor of 10. So there are 10 fewer fatalities and tragedies and serious injuries. And that’s a really huge difference.” It is nice to hear that Musk does admit his vehicle has and will have a problem or accident here and there, but Tesla self driving technology will lead to 10 times fewer the amount of injuries and deaths caused by car accidents.

As the twenty first century continues to grow and enhance its technological development the automotive factor of Tesla is thriving. Tesla is definitely setting the bar for self-driving technology, but how high will they set the bar over the next 5 years is what is going to make or break Tesla and their fully electric self driving vehicles.