Should Self-Driving Car Owners Be Allowed to Watch Videos While Driving?
UK Updates Highway Code, Moves Towards Newer Autonomous Technology
A self-driving owner looking at their screen. Media sourced from The Guardian.
Bikers, beware; if you live in the UK area (or are visiting), the new highway code has relaxed requirements for the owners of self-driving cars – including a new rule that could see the driver reoccupied with a video or three while en-route.
As we found back in mid-August, autopilot programs are not working to their full advertised potential – at least, not in the Tesla world.
In the report found off of ABCNews, Tesla’s Autopilot was being investigated in the U.S. over a thick file of issues, ranging from ‘over 750 complaints that Teslas can brake for no reason,’ all the way up to ‘Teslas striking emergency vehicles/pedestrians parked along freeways.’
The most unsettling one, though, has got to be what those same Autopilot programs see when a motorcyclist is on the road – or rather, what it doesn’t see.
Motorcycles don’t always show up on a self-driving car’s radar – and what the program can’t see, it won’t necessarily stop for.
It’s such a concern that the acting Executive Director of the Nonprofit Center for Auto Safety has requested NHSTA to recall Tesla’s Autopilot, agreeing that the program wasn’t recognizing “motorcyclists, emergency vehicles, or pedestrians.” The request was made after a Tesla crashed into a Harley rider in Utah – despite the driver claiming he had the thing on Autopilot.
Circling back to VisorDown’s findings on self-driving owners being allowed to watch movies, perhaps the question isn’t ‘should we be allowed to have self-driving cars on our road,’ but more, ‘is it wise to completely replace human discernment with computer algorhythms?’
For me, there’s always wiggle room when working tandem with electronics – but you have to stay focused.
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Looking forward to hearing from you, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.