The failure of the Tesla Model S autopilot is another BBC provocation?

The Tesla Model S autopilot test performed by BBC journalists has recently been popular on the Internet. But is this yet another provocation?

As we can see on the video, the Tesla Model S has been run several times by an autopilot. During the first test, the car was checked for lane holding on to a curve at 40 mph (64 km/h), and during the second test, it was checked whether the car would stop when the previous car started braking and stop completely. Both tests of the Tesla Model S went well.

The third attempt was a problem, in which journalists decided to verify how the autopilot would react when the previous car suddenly changed its lane due to another stopped vehicle. Unfortunately, the Tesla Model S did not change lane, but only started emergency braking. However, this was not enough and it drove into a provisional vehicle on the manoeuvring area.

Part of the recording (0:21)

However, there are a few objections to the reliability of the tests carried out by BBC journalists. The car was tested on driving on several lanes and checked to see if it changed lane. The distance the car travelled was only a few hundred meters, and in addition, on the manoeuvring area, which in navigation most probably does not occur as a multi-lane road.

Additionally, as we can see on the recording (0:19 – 0:22), the autopilot informs about the visibility of only one lane. This means that the car will not leave the road, because the right lane can be distinguished as a side lane or the opposite lane. This meant that the Tesla Model S couldn’t go as a BMW on the record, as it probably considered it a greater danger – the possibility of falling off the road, going into a private property or driving in front of another car.

© Mack Hogan | CNBC

Autopilot can identify several lanes and can change lanes by itself. However, it must be detected by the camera system or by navigation. In the picture on the left (© Mack Hogan | CNBC) you can see the correct message about the detection of several lanes.

Presented test by BBC News journalists is another example of making a sensation without carefully verifying the car and reading the manual. In addition, the Tesla Model S is a level 3 autonomous car and must be supervised at all times. In the case of such a situation as shown in the video, it is the driver’s responsibility to react and avoid a collision.

Below are examples of collision avoidance by autopilot:

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