Tesla Model S on autopilot crashes into a stationary van

After being stagnant for several decades, automotive technology has witnessed growing interest over the past couple of years. In fact, since the automobile industry crisis of 2008 - 2010, Elon Musk-founded Tesla Motors has witnessed an impressive surge of interest.


After being stagnant for several decades, automotive technology has witnessed growing interest over the past couple of years. In fact, since the automobile industry crisis of 2008 - 2010, Elon Musk-founded Tesla Motors has witnessed an impressive surge of interest.

Recently, Tesla Motors launched the Model S, which is its budget product priced at $35,000. Although it isn't considered budget in India, the new car is expected to bring in over $8 billion in revenues. Among the innovations brought in by Tesla Motors to the automotive industry is the emphasis on technology, an all-electric drive, an impressive dashboard that continuously informs the driver about the state of the vehicle, charge and drive duration available.

In addition, an auto-pilot feature was made available to Tesla owners recently. The feature was supposed to aid users have a handsfree driving experience similar to the auto-pilot used in the civil aviation industry. Nonetheless, as is the case with most new technologies, there are chances of mishaps.

According to a report by Tech Insider, a Tesla Model S that was being driven on autopilot didn't stop for a stationary van in its path. It went ahead and collided. From the video the extent of the damage isn't evident, but it certainly is a scary thought to trust in a technology that is very closely connected with human life. Road accidents are among the foremost reasons of human lives lost across the world.

According to a World Health Organisation Factsheet, 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road accidents. The problem of road casualties is so drastic that if corrective action isn't taken, it could be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030.

Instances such as the one in the video above don't help the cause of autonomous driving, which is the focal point of the tech world. Companies such as Google and Apple are also expected to announce products in the near future. And the crux of attention lies with algorithms and machine learning to navigate through constantly changing factors such as stationary vehicles, humans crossing roads and vehicles swerving between lanes. We do hope machines cope up with the growing demand of the human race for comfort, convenience and safety.

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