Tesla won't disable Autopilot, will work on education instead, Musk says

tesla wont disable autopilot model s update 004
Tesla won’t disable its Autopilot autonomous-driving system in the face of an ongoing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into a fatal May 7 crash involving a Model S driving with the system activated. Instead, the company plans to redouble efforts to educate consumers about Autopilot’s limitations.

The carmaker is planning an explanatory blog post on how Autopilot works and what drivers are expected to do once it’s activated, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal (subscription required). Musk still believes that Autopilot will ultimately enhance safety, and that lack of consumer education is the issue, not the system itself.

Since Autopilot was launched last October, Musk has maintained that the system has limited capabilities, and that drivers are ultimately responsible for controlling vehicles even when it is engaged. Tesla still considers Autopilot to be in a public beta testing stage, and warns drivers to remain alert and be ready to take over at any time.

Read more: Does Tesla have blood on its hands after fatal Autopilot crash?

The May 7 crash in Florida that killed 40-year-old Joshua Brown involved a Model S colliding with a tractor trailer. In a blog post responding to the crash, Tesla said both Autopilot and Brown failed to see the white side of the trailer against a bright sky. On Tuesday, the NHTSA released a letter requesting additional information from Tesla, including the carmaker’s own reconstruction of the crash, engineering details on Autopilot, and records of other crashes.

Since news of the fatal crash broke, reports of two other crashes involving Autopilot have surfaced, one in Montana and another in Pennsylvania. In both cases, Model X SUVs purportedly using Autopilot crashed into highway guardrails. Tesla now says it could not recover data from the Model X in the Pennsylvania crash, but that the SUV in the Montana crash was on Autopilot, and the driver may have taken his hands off the steering wheel. Autopilot prompts drivers to periodically place their hands on the wheel when it is operating.

In addition, Tesla may face a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) probe related to the fatal Florida crash. Securities rules may have required the company to report the incident to its investors, although Tesla denies that it broke any laws by not reporting the crash immediately.

Cars

It’s not easy being green. Why EVs have a long road to replace gas vehicles

Electric vehicles are all the rage right now, but are they really better than your average gas-powered car? We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, and whether or not they're ready for mass adoption.
Home Theater

From home theater to home studio, these are the best speakers you can buy

Whether you’re looking for a spiffy surround sound setup or a small system to listen to Spotify, a great pair of speakers can make all the difference. These are the best speakers in all shapes and sizes.
Emerging Tech

Your smartphone could be the key to predicting natural disasters

A challenge for atmospheric scientists is gathering enough data to understand the complex, planet-wide weather system. Now a scientist has come up with a clever idea to gather more data using smartphones and Internet of Things devices.
Social Media

Facebook’s comment-ranking system aimed at taming the dumpster fire

Even by the standards of the internet, Facebook comments are famously awful. Now Facebook is introducing a new comment ranking system to attempt to tackle this problem by promoting quality comments and hiding low quality ones.
Home Theater

Our quick-and-easy guide to programming an RCA universal remote

If you're tired of using a million different remotes in your home theater, office, or living room, you'll likely be interested in a single RCA universal remote. Here's how to program it for your system.
Outdoors

The best smart helmets are full of cool tech, and totally worth the messy hair

Helmets might be a haircut's worst nightmare, but they're constantly evolving, and have undergone a 21st-century makeover. No matter your sport, here are the best smart helmets currently on the market.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Kia draws inspiration from Greek mythology to create a crossover for millennials

Kia will expand its global portfolio of crossovers and SUVs when it unveils a model named Seltos on June 20, 2019. Developed for milennials, the Seltos is a small, high-tech model named after the son of Hercules.
Cars

Don’t let the SUV bodies fool you, BMW’s X3 M and X4 M are bona fide M cars

BMW is launching the first M versions of its X3 and X4. The 2020 X3 M and X4 M Competition pack a new 503-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six and BMW’s usual array of performance tech.
Cars

After years of Le Mans misfortune, Toyota becomes impossible to beat

Toyota scored a one-two finish at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, its second win a row at the legendary French race. Toyota is the first Japanese automaker to win Le Mans twice, but its wins came without any real competition.
Cars

Uber drivers reportedly triggering higher fares through Surge Club

Uber drivers are reportedly participating in a so-called Surge Club to artificially trigger higher fares. Many drivers said that they do not want to join the shady practice, but they are forced to do so due to pay cuts.
Cars

Intel hates that your car is dumber than your phone. Here’s how they’ll fix it

Motorists are often underwhelmed and/or frustrated with their car's native infotainment system, so millions of them rely on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Intel is helping Google and Volvo change that by bringing phone-like tech to the…
Cars

Fisker wants to make sure Tesla’s Model Y isn’t in a class of one when it lands

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.
Cars

Could a high-performance Nissan Leaf steal the mighty GT-R’s lunch money?

Nissan developed the electric Leaf with range and practicality in mind, but the hatchback could lend its hardware to a high-performance flagship. One of Nissan's chief executives announced a four-motor, 850-hp model could arrive during the…