Photo: Christophe Ena (AP)
When the Tesla Autopilot program was launched in 2015, it seemed like a revolutionary piece of technology to add to our cars. With only the least number of driver conditions, our cars would in fact drive from point A to point B. All we would have to do as people are aware that nothing terrible happens.
According to Tesla, from now on, Tesla’s owner has driven one billion miles of autopilot engaged. While it seems like a large number, it adds up to about ten percent of all autopilot driven miles.
The ten percent, however, include all Tesla cars, including those sold before Autopilot, were an alternative and were sold to consumers as resigned from the Autopilot option. What makes the whole “one billion” number appear to be a hell much bigger.
The autopilot feature is designed as a way to double-check security and it’s not completely idiotic. It does not mean that the driver can only kick back and relax while the car does all the work. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of scandal about the Autopilot feature, because it made its debut, largely attributable to driver errors and the fact that the technology is not perfect. According to Tesla:
Autopilot is intended for use with a fully attentive driver who has his hands on the wheel and is ready to take over at any time. While the Autopilot is designed to become more capable over time, in its current form, it’s not a self-propulsion system, it does not make a Tesla an autonomous vehicle, and it does not allow the driver to abandon the responsibility. When used properly, Autopilot reduces a driver’s total workload, and the redundancy of eight external cameras, radar and 12 ultrasonic sensors provides an additional layer of security that two eyes would not even have.
It’s a pretty cool milestone for the company and for the entire automotive industry as a whole.