Electrek has obtained a solicitation by the U.S. Air Force looking to specifically obtain a Tesla Model X. The Air Force is looking for a vehicle with “Fully Self-Driving Capability” and a towing package, which makes the Model X the closest vehicle to qualifying. While the Model X does have the Autopilot driver assistance system, it is not capable of fully autonomous driving.
Even so, as the document states, the Air Force is looking to study the vehicle’s autonomous driving systems to get better insight into the “interaction of human behaviors in relation to the operation of fully autonomous vehicles with advanced object detection and artificial intelligence systems.”
Furthermore, the Air Force also explained that “a key factor in this project is to determine whether or not all enhanced autopilot systems should still be considered a driver’s assistance feature, with the driver responsible for remaining in control of the car at all times.”
While level 5 autonomous driving is still in our future, many already recognize the potential for increased safety on the road. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows the introduction of Tesla’s Autopilot software alone played a part in the 40% reduction of accidents involving Tesla vehicles. Full autonomy will only help that percentage rise. The results of the Air Force’s research will likely confirm this hope.