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Self-Driving Tech “Not Ready” for Public Roads

A former Tesla employee has told the BBC that the company’s self-driving technology is still not ready for public roads. Lukasz Krupski, who has turned whistleblower, said that the part-autonomous technology, which takes over some driving functions such as emergency braking but still requires the driver to be ready to take over, is really still in the development phase. He stated: “It affects all of us because we are essentially experiments in public roads. So even if you don’t have a Tesla, your children still walk on the footpath.”

Mr Krupski, a former service technician at Tesla, leaked 100GB of internal company data to the German newspaper Handlesblatt, which first publicised the allegations. In an interview with the BBC Krupski added: “I don’t think the hardware is ready and the software is ready,” saying that other Tesla employees had told him of occasions when a Tesla in driver-assist mode had braked for no reason when the road was clear.

Tesla insists that its self-driving tech is safe, stating that drivers of its cars using the Autopilot mode have a crash triggering the airbag every five million miles on average, compared to 1.5 million miles for those who don’t engage it.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, was in no doubt that self-driving technology still needs to prove that it is safe for motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users. “The BMF and FEMA have been fighting this wherever and whenever we can. Tesla have a mountain to climb to convince us that their systems are safe. Tesla are in deep trouble on a number of fronts, with major rental companies refusing to continue their relationship with the company. Level 5 autonomy is as far away now as it was 10 years ago, ’50 years, or infinity, whichever is longer’. Elon Musk should stick to space exploration, whether inner or outer, just not on the public highway. ”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover