Dangerous Autonomy

Video Shows Tesla Autopilot Steering Toward Highway Barriers

This isn't the first time Tesla's AI veered off course.

3. 22. 19 by Dan Robitzski
Tesla
Image by Tesla

Crash Cam

New dashcam footage shows a Tesla Model 3, with Autopilot switched on, veering towards a highway divider.

The video, recorded Tuesday and shared to Reddit on Wednesday, shows the Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot mode correctly avoiding the divider several times before a final run where the car steers toward the metal barrier so severely that the driver needs to intervene.

Repeated Incidents

Even worse, this problem isn’t new.

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Tesla drivers have been recording this particular Autopilot behavior for months — Ars Technica provided a timeline of concerned drivers whose Teslas had driven toward highway dividers as far back as last April.

In one video from April, a Tesla driver demonstrates his car’s Autopilot steering him towards a highway divider where an autopilot-enabled Tesla Model X crashed just days prior, killing its driver. Another video shared to Reddit in October corroborates those stories.

Ars Technica reached out to Tesla for comment, but did not hear back as of March 22, when it ran its story about the Autopilot errors.

Bringing Up The Rear

According to research firm Navigant Research, Tesla’s self-driving car technology ranks 19th out of the 20 autonomous vehicle companies that it evaluated, only beating out Apple’s mostly-gutted autonomous vehicle division.

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In the past, a number of car crashes have been chalked up to Tesla drivers not understanding the limitations of the optimistically-titled Autopilot mode. Given the prevalence of this dangerous bug, drivers would be wise to be more cautious than ever before letting their semi-autonomous vehicles take the wheel.

READ MORE: Dashcam video shows Tesla steering toward lane divider—again [Ars Technica]

More on autopilot: Tesla Just Dropped “Full Self-Driving” Mode From the Model 3


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