Tesla Restores Its “Assertive” Self-Driving Mode

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has reinstated its “resolute” self-driving mode. The company released an update in October that contained the functionality – as well as the “Cooling” and “Medium” modes – but removed it due to software issues. The move raised some safety concerns.

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assertive mode

As reported by the BBC, the car giant has brought back its “firm” self-driving mode, which has raised some safety concerns given its characteristics. The functionality allows the vehicle to follow cars at a shorter distance, change lanes more often, perform rolling stops, and never leave the overtaking lane.

Safety experts often discourage all of these moves on the road when it comes to human driver behavior.

David Zipper, a technical writer and visiting fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, monitored the restoration of the “assertive” situation, which he described as: “The Model X will have smaller following distance, result in more velocity lane changes, won’t get out of passing lanes and may stop rolling .”

According to the auto safety expert, the situation can be much safer because “excessive caution” on the road can lead to accidents.

Possibly safer

In response to criticism raised by the reintroduction of Tesla’s self-driving mode, Matthew Avery of Thatcham Research Center in the UK said that in theory, a driverless system is safer than a human driver because it eliminates human error.

Avery told the BBC, “If we were to adopt automation on a large scale, drivers would expect the car to do and make the decisions it would do as a human driver, not a very benign and safe algorithm.”

At an intersection, for example, two hyper-cautious robotic vehicles can wait for the other to make the move first, and “that’s what manufacturers are trying to learn at the moment,” Avery explains.

“A degree of being less careful, if it means more people are using the systems more than once because they feel more human-like, that’s a good thing.”

Tesla is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies run by their founders or the families of their founders.

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