Tesla gets a lot of press and criticism of its autonomous systems when they fail. However, in a lot of cases they prove a lifesaver. Though it might not yet be perfect, Tesla shows the rapid advancement of technology and its possibilities. For example, in the below video, a Tesla avoids an accident thanks to its autonomous features.
- Tesla continues to perfect the reliability of autonomous systems
- Though the technology demonstrates it can work, customers have no idea why
- In order to get customers to buy in to autonomous driving, automakers must communicate how the system works to passengers will trust it.
Although successful implementation of autonomous systems is impressive, the owner’s comments on Reddit reveal a big issue with autonomous driving in general: customers don’t understand how the technology on their cars works.
“My AP1 does this as well. I think 8.1 introduced a feature where the radar will detect the car in front of the car in front of you,” says Inspector22 of his Tesla Model S P90DL. “There was one time when I was wondering why I was slowing down but the acr [sic] in front of me wasn’t, then I noticed the car in front of them was driving slow as crap.”
Notice that Inspector22 says he “thinks” a feature was introduced, but obviously isn’t sure. He also “was wondering why [he] was slowing down.” His car corrected to avoid the accident, but again he shows uncertainty about why. It’s only after the fact that he sees the reason his car made the correction it did because of the car in front of him “driving slow as crap”.
Predictive technology is the name of the game and has other applications to make driving safer. Check out this new side airbag—a world’s first. However, in order for auto manufacturers to facilitate the paradigm shift to electric cars, they must communicate with passengers so they can see and then trust what the car is doing.
While the automakers are continually advancing the technology of autonomous driving, they mustn’t forget about the importance of effectively communicating these progressions to customers to get more people in their cars.