Tech UPTechnologyThe software problem that has forced thousands of electric...

The software problem that has forced thousands of electric cars to be withdrawn from the market

Tesla has pulled its latest “full self-driving” software update after drivers complained of multiple issues with Autopilot mode.

Some drivers reported intermittent issues, such as security alerts sounding, even though the car was not in any danger. The latest version was rolled back just a few weeks ago, less than a month after it was released.

Autopilot issues

The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk , assured through his profile on the social network Twitter, that there were “some problems” with this version, but that it was “to be expected with beta software”. A few hours earlier, Musk said the launch would be delayed because the company’s QA team had found “regression in some left turns at traffic lights.”

However, it was released anyway, before being quickly pulled on after drivers reported problems with the vehicle when Autopilot mode is engaged. This issue comes as Tesla has just increased the price of four of its electric vehicles.

security concern

Thatcham Research, which conducts safety tests for car insurers in multiple European countries, has said there are concerns about Tesla’s decision to test the new software with digital drivers and then test the technology in the real world.

The challenge that Elon Musk’s company has is to allow its customers to be the guinea pigs of this developing technology. There are obvious security challenges with customers trying it out and misunderstanding or getting it wrong, and there is also the risk of systems that are not secure, which could lead to accidents.

Despite the name, Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving technology cannot be used as a substitute for a driver. The company still tells its users to keep their hands on the wheel at all times, and a warning sounds if they don’t.

Experts say that while there was a risk with beta software in Tesla cars, the fact that the vehicle is not truly autonomous is important. From the company they insist that there is no such thing as total autonomous driving, but that this term is largely a marketing-oriented word. These vehicles are still assisted driving, that is, a human drives and the car supports that driving using technology, but it never replaces human decisions and actions.

self-braking cars

The US government is investigating reports of Tesla vehicles braking unexpectedly on highways, which have already caused several accidents. The so-called phantom braking problem is being analyzed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an entity in charge of ensuring safety on the country’s land routes.

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