California Says Tesla’s that Pick Drivers Up Are Still Not Driverless
USA- The latimes.com writes that Tesla is continuing to push the boundaries of driverless technology with a vehicle is equipped with a new technology called “Smart Summon.” The new system, which owners of Tesla’s can prepay for, allows the owner to use a smartphone to “summon” their vehicle out of its parking spot and to their location, based on their phone’s GPS. With the new system, a driver could park in the grocery store lot, and then exit the building with their groceries and have their vehicle meet them at the door.*
Some are questioning whether the technology is moving too fast for lawmakers and safety regulators to adapt.
The vehicle has onboard sensors that it uses to steer, accelerate, back up, and brake if it detects people, objects or other vehicles. The vehicle will stop if the “driver” takes his or her finger off of the screen of their smartphone.
Officials with Tesla say that the feature is intended for use in parking lots and at a maximum range of 200 feet. However, the technology is capable of working at a greater distance.
The California DMV says the system is not technically driverless because the smartphone user still must be in control, or the vehicle will stop moving. The determination means that the system is legal without requiring a driverless vehicle permit. The only company that has a driverless vehicle permit in California is Google.
Some regulators have voiced concerns that the technology was launched too quickly and has not been sufficiently tested. Critics believe this puts pedestrians at risk of being involved in an accident.
So far, no injuries have been reported in relation to this technology.
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