Tesla Doesn't Plan to Take Autopilot out of its Cars in Wake of Crash
Musk defends technology, says Autopilot is still in beta
Last month, a driver piloting a Tesla Model S in Autopilot mode was killed in a crash, an event marking the first known death involving the semi-autonomous feature. In the wake of this incident, Tesla has come forth stating that it would not be taking Autopilot out of its vehicles, but is instead going to better educate Tesla owners on how the system works.
"A lot of people don't understand what it is and how you turn it on," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. The system rolled out on the Model S as quickly as possible, due to Musk pushing the technology, as he believed his company "had a system that on balance would save lives."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a probe into the electric automaker to investigate the incident, despite the fact that the accident was reported to safety regulators once Tesla was made aware of the crash. Now, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating Tesla, trying to determine if the automaker violated securities laws and if the company should have disclosed the crash to its investors.
While NHTSA hasn't made any final judgments about the incident, they're calling for "an examination of the design and performance of any driving aids in use," regulators stated in their initial probe. Tesla's response was to say that the Autopilot system was a beta feature and that all disclaimers about the system were "written in super plain language," according to Musk.