‘Irresponsible’: Expert warns about dangers of Tesla technology in certain settings
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Tesla drivers have been warned against using some of the car’s autopilot technology in built up areas in a bid to avoid accidents.
The advice refers to the vehicles' suite of driver assistance technologies including autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and radar cruise control.
Founder of CarExpert.com.au Paul Maric said Tesla’s autopilot technology shouldn’t be used in built-up or pedestrian heavy areas.
“Anyone who chooses to use this technology on suburban streets where you have low speed limits or a chance of kids coming out in front of you — they’re being totally irresponsible,” he said.
“This technology is designed to work well on highways where there’s very visibly lined markings on the road and the car is able to clearly tell where it is.”
Mr Maric said the term ‘autopilot’ could lead consumers to incorrectly assume the car is capable of driving itself, despite Tesla requiring drivers to accept responsibility for the vehicle’s control.
The investigation covered 765,000 vehicles sold since 2014 and identified that 17 people were injured and one was killed in crashes impacted by the technology.
In response, Tesla warned that drivers using the systems must be ready to intervene at all times.
Mr Maric said many relevant accidents could be avoided if drivers used traditional brake methods.
“In and around streets there’s just so many variables that are happening constantly that the driver always needs to be in control and understanding what they’re doing,” he said.
“From experience, this technology shouldn’t be used around city streets because it’s not quick enough to react.”
Mr Maric said the autopilot technology may have difficulty detecting pedestrians.
“Any normal driver (without autopilot) would be able to stop in time,” he said.
“This type of technology, whether it’s Tesla or not, just isn’t safe for urban areas or built-up areas.”