The concept of the self-driving car is one that is really cool in theory, but perhaps hasn’t exactly proven itself to be all that safe in practice. Tesla has boasted about its autopilot functionality, but a fatal accident that occurred with the autopilot engaged has hurt consumer confidence when it comes to that autopilot system. That wasn’t the only crash, either, there have been others. Yet, Tesla head Elon Musk still feels confident about the autopilot feature moving forward and truly believes that the next update to the autopilot will be the one that wows doubters.
According to Reuters, Musk spoke with journalists on Sunday about Autopilot 8.0 for the Tesla luxury vehicles that will be available in the next week or two via an over-the-air update that will improve the car’s radar abilities and impose new limits to the “hands-off” feature that has lead to numerous accidents. The new update will require the driver to respond to audible warnings to keep them alert and ready to take the wheel back from the car in case of an emergency. Musk spoke highly of the updates.
He also believed that it was “very likely” that Autopilot 8.0 could have prevented that fatal accident earlier this year, but didn’t want to oversell the safety of it.
“Perfect safety is really an impossible goal. It’s about improving the probability of safety. There won’t ever be zero fatalities, there won’t ever be zero injuries.”
While he is correct that “perfect safety” might not be an attainable goal, as a consumer product you might want to aim for a potential “zero fatality” mark before releasing something into the wild.