May 30, 2017 10:04 AM EDT
Tesla has created a billion-dollar industry with its self-driving cars which received a lot of rave reviews from all over the world. However, one research conducted by a robotics expert from Stanford University says the company's auto-pilot technology poses danger to cyclists.
Heather Knight, who also has a Ph.D. from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University wrote and published an essay regarding a post-doctoral research she made with a colleague from Stanford University on social robotics. The subject of their study was the accuracy of Tesla's autopilot technology when it comes to human-robot interaction.
To test this, they drove around on the streets of Southern California and came up with the conclusion that although Tesla auto-pilot responded well to cars, it did not give the same love to cyclists leading them to advise never to put the car on auto-pilot around cyclists.
Putting Knight's research aside, there has only been one reported incident of a cyclist getting injured when it came into contact with autopilot. The incident happened in Norway where the car failed to recognize the motorcycle.
On the other hand, a report that appeared in the Wall Street Journal praised the car's autopilot technology for preventing a potential accident when it responded to a bicyclist who swerved in front of the car.
Even before the study, Tesla already informed drivers that the vehicle's autopilot technology is not fully autonomous. They also advised drivers not to take their hands off the steering wheel because the autopilot automatically disengages if it senses the absence of human control on the steering wheel.
The essay received criticisms saying it lacks evidence but Knight responded that the purpose of the study is to inform drivers so that they will not depend on the auto-pilot alone but be more careful, especially around cyclists.
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