Until cars will be able to function completely on their own, having obtained Level 5 autonomy, there will always be a need for a human behind the wheel to make all the important decisions.
True, there are already semi-autonomous systems out there, but they are far from self-driving even if they can perform certain operations. Better think of them as safety assistance, because that’s what they really are.
Unfortunately, the driver of a Model S and their passenger (a husband and wife) put too much faith in the car’s Autopilot system that, despite its name, does not possess Level 5 autonomy and requires the driver’s attention, as Tesla has stressed many times.
Even so, the system warned the driver of an object right ahead, but he did not react. This resulted in the Model S driving into the rear of a stationary Nissan crossover at around 45 mph, noticed by the female occupant of the EV at the very last moment – way too late to actually do something about it.
The dashcam footage was uploaded to YouTube with the following statement from the cammer: “We weren’t paying attention [at] all. We were too focused on the chaos around us and didn’t even hear our car warning us of the obstacle ahead. As you can see, we rammed right into the parked car going about 45 mph. I haven’t heard words like that come from my wife’s mouth in the 20 some-odd years we’ve been married!”
Be that as it may, there’s obviously no excuse for taking your eyes off the road like that in order to focus on your surroundings. Adding insult to injury, the driver declined to take action despite the Autopilot chiming and warning him, as it should.
At least they should be grateful that they got out alive, and that the Infiniti that was following them didn’t crash into the back of the Model S.