NTSB Criticizes Companies for Putting Driverless Technology Before Lives
Consumer Reports has finally been vocal about new Tesla’s automated parking system. In a new report, the organization stated that the feature called Smart Summon operates less like a “tame pet” Tesla CEO Elon Musk described it, and more like a drunken or distracted driver. According to a news report, in tests conducted at the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center, the vehicle reportedly drove in the middle of the traffic lane. The report said the vehicle would “wander left and right as it drove – erratically, like a drunken or distracted driver.”
Consumers Paying to Fine-Tune Tesla’s Tech
Consumer Reports has likened Smart Summon, which is currently under review by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to a “science experiment” suggesting it is not ready for consumers. Consumer Reports’ senior director of auto testing calls it a “work in progress.” He said what consumers are really getting is a chance to “participate in a kind of science experiment.”
The feature, which Tesla rolled out to certain users last month as part of a larger software update, allows users to move their Tesla vehicles a short distance such as in a parking lot or driveway using their smartphones. However, soon after the feature was rolled out Tesla drivers were posting pictures and videos on social media of dents and among other issues Consumer Reports has blasted Smart Summon as “glitchy” and has urged consumers not to pay to help Tesla fine-tune its technology for the future.
Tesla provides the service only to drivers who have opted for the “full self-driving” package, which costs about $6,000. Tesla has come under scrutiny for fatal crashes that have been linked to its Autopilot system, which is a semi-automated feature. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) pointed out recently that the Autopilot design is flawed.
Stop Using Consumers as Guinea Pigs
Our auto defect attorneys have said time and time again that Tesla has done nothing but tried to use consumers as test subjects for their so-called ground-breaking technology. Autopilot was never ready for primetime when they first released it and we still don’t think it’s ready. We’ve seen the utter fiasco that Smart Summon has proved to be.
It’s time that Tesla did the responsible thing. The company needs to diligently test its software and products before releasing it to consumers. Using consumers as guinea pigs to test this technology and making them pay for it, is absolutely unconscionable.