Published On: Mon, Oct 10th, 2016

Tesla’s autopilot endangered German road transport

The technique of the Tesla S autopilot is a present danger for road traffic in EU. Weak sensors in the camera and imprecise software. An opinion that Alexander Dobrindt comes to this conclusion. 

The Federal Highway Research Institute (BAST) has been Tesla’s autopilot on behalf of the Federal Ministry of transport under the magnifying glass. The experts have encountered many shortcomings, the mirror reported.


The autopilot in the Tesla is at best an assistance system, which can keep for example the distance to the vehicle in front. Photo: Tesla

Point one: The autopilot not warns the driver when the system can no longer follow. It builds crap then simply, ignored, for example, yellow road markings and follows the white. Missing tags, the Tesla drives behind the front man and is not in the vehicle beside him. That alone is enough for an accident.

Range of the sensors is too low

Point 2: The sensors of the autopilot have only a range of 40 m to the rear. This is not enough according to BAST for overtaking on the motorway. This deadly accident shows that also the camera is quickly overwhelmed in the United States.

Tesla autopilot is under re-development

New features and double check is necessary to develop autopilot functions. software as it is was responsible for series of incidents worldwide. Photo: Tesla

And speaking of Highway: the autopilot is intended only for the highway, can be activated but everywhere – even in the city, the system is not designed for that. And although he does Tesla GPS and therefore knows whether he is ever on a highway, Tesla does not switch off outside his autopilot by highways.

Speaking of autopilot: also known as “Autopilot” is misleading according to BAST. She suggests that the driver must not watch. The autopilot is currently at best an assistance system that requires the constant attention of the driver, even Tesla says. Also here is a source of danger for road traffic.

Supplier Mobil-eye criticized cameras

The BASt is not the only organisation, which criticized the designation of autopilot. Also Mobil-eye from Israel puts into perspective the promise of the car-maker to visionary Elon Musk, which is probably on their way to Mars with the idea according to the German newspaper.

The Israeli Tesla suppliers makes it clear that the cameras in the vehicle still clear limits to be. In two years, the optical systems could actually handle situations with intersecting vehicles.

Tesla autopilot fatal accident

Photo: Tesla

This accident on the A24 near Hamburg shows that they are currently overwhelmed. The Tesla ascended a Danish coach, wanted to again cut after the overtaking on the right track. Actually a pretty cheap situation, right?

Ignoring the warnings Dobrindt?

Conclusion of the opinion: the technique of the “autopilot” Tesla is not mature for autonomous driving enough and can endanger other road users. Now the federal order Minister Dobrindt knows that according to the information of the mirror. But while some trade officials would prefer directly shut down the vehicle, the Minister of transport seems to have another plan.

According to the mirror, it supports Tesla with research funds, to enable testing with the driving assistance systems in German cities. The drivers can override however the traffic Ministry at any time will disapprove autopilot. Looks like what is good in US is not good enough in EU. Because one thing is clear: the Tesla S is not an autonomous vehicle.


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