Jennifer Homendy, who has recently become the head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), has slated Tesla’s terminology of its Full Self Driving Update. Tesla currently offers this update for $10,000, or through a monthly subscription of $199 per month.
Currently, it’s only in beta stages, but with it revealing it’s about to expand this beta software to more customers, the NTSB has argued that the technology company should first of all address a number of safety issues.
The NTSB is a body that investigates crashes, and through this, issues safety recommendations to transport companies. And while the company has no regulatory authority, Jennifer talked at great length about Tesla to The Wall Street Journal,
She said the following:
“Basic safety issues have to be addressed before they’re then expanding it to other city streets and other areas.”
She continues to add that the use of the phrase, “Full Self-Driving” is “misleading and irresponsible”.
This is a phrase used often by those who are worried about the effects of using FSD on the public road when it is in fact not fully self-driving. In fact, the recent update from Tesla to v10 of the software was slammed for not being “mind-blowing” as CEO Elon Musk described it, but instead a letdown.
Homendy continues, stating that the company “has clearly misled numerous people to misuse and abuse technology.”
This news comes only moments after Elon Musk has revealed that he’ll be rolling out the beta to more customers, while emphasising that safety is of a high priority and that drivers who misuse the software will be booted from the trial.
“2000 beta users operating for almost a year with no accidents. Needs to stay that way,” Musk posted on Twitter.
Currently, Tesla has recorded one accident for every 4.19 million miles driven with Autopilot engaged. This can be compared to statistics from the NHTSA that records one car crashed every 484,000 miles travelled in the United States.
These are good numbers so far, but the safety of this public experiment still worries me.