Tesla executives defended the automaker’s semi-autonomous system on Monday, following a fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S in Texas earlier this month.
Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, dismissed claims that Autopilot was to blame.
“This is entirely false,” he said, adding that reporters who said Autopilot was to blame “should be ashamed of themselves.”
Investigators were 99.9% certain that no one was behind the wheel when the car overturned, according to Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman, who told several sources, including the Wall Street Journal and Consumer Reports, after the accident.
The collision is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Tesla’s Autopilot can ‘easily’ be used to drive without anyone behind the wheel, according to Consumer Reports.
Self-driving cars aren’t a possibility yet, according to Tesla Autopilot critics.
Lars Moravy, a Tesla engineering executive, said Monday that Tesla had analysed the vehicle involved in the Texas crash but was unable to process all of the data immediately. The steering wheel, on the other hand, was “deformed,” and the seat belts were buckled, he said.
According to Tesla’s conclusions, there’s a “fair chance” someone was in the driver’s seat at the time of the accident, according to Moravy.
Following the incident, Consumer Reports published a study demonstrating that Tesla vehicles can be operated on Autopilot with no one in the driver’s seat and the driver’s seatbelt buckled. Tesla has been chastised by consumer advocates for placing too much confidence in its self-driving car system, which is capable of steering, braking, and accelerating the vehicle in some circumstances on lane-marked roads. At all times, drivers are expected to hold their hands on the steering wheel.
Musk announced Tesla’s plans to redesign its self-driving car system by eliminating the use of radar on the same call where he defended the company. In a markedly different approach than most of its rivals, Tesla would focus solely on cameras.
The majority of the company’s rivals are working on self-driving vehicle technologies with a combination of sensors, radar, and Lidar, a laser-based light-mapping device.
Musk said, “When vision works, it works better than the best person.” “It’s like getting eyes in the back of your head,” says the narrator.
“I’m very sure that we’ll get this done,” he said.
Musk also reaffirmed his previous claims that Tesla’s self-driving car technology would make its vehicles “dramatically safer” than traditional automobiles.
Tesla posted a net income of $438 million in its earnings report on Monday, up from $16 million the year before. Revenue increased from $5.99 billion to $10.39 billion.
In the first quarter of this year, Tesla sold 184,877 vehicles worldwide, more than double the same timeframe in 2020.
Musk said that production of the Model Y SUV is increasing. He estimated that by 2022, it would “most likely” be the world’s best-selling vehicle of any kind.
To do so, it will have to outsell vehicles like the Ford F-series truck, which sold 203,797 units in the United States alone in the first quarter of 2021, outselling Tesla’s entire global lineup.