Tesla on Sunday unveiled new software updates to improve the self-driving capabilities of its vehicles, including new limits on highway speeds and a way for owners to “summon” their empty vehicles.
But Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said he already believes the technology has proven itself, even though Tesla introduced the self-driving software into its fleet of vehicles only late last year and even that didn’t turn the vehicles into fully autonomous vehicles.
“It’s probably better than a person right now (at driving),” Musk said during a conference call with reporters.
Musk also expects rapid improvements over the next 24 to 36 months, when a Tesla “will be able to drive virtually all roads at a safety level significantly better than humans,” he said.
Tesla tweaks the software running its vehicles by analyzing data from the hundreds of millions of miles driven by current owners. The automaker is constantly updated the autopilot software, which it still considers to be an unfinished “beta” product. But, Musk said, he was not aware of any accidents caused by auto pilot. He said the closest scenario were accidents where drivers mistakenly believed they were in auto-pilot mode.
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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Todd C. Frankel