Former Tesla Employee Raises Safety Concerns Over Self-Driving Tech
A recent BBC article states that a former employee of electric car manufacturer Tesla has voiced serious worries regarding the safety of the company’s self-driving technology. Lukasz Krupski asserts that his attempts to bring up safety concerns within Tesla were ignored. In May, he disclosed extensive material, including consumer complaints, to the German daily Handelsblatt.
Under Elon Musk’s leadership as CEO, Tesla has been an outspoken proponent of its autonomous driving technology. Musk, who is famous for his daring technological projects, has praised the firm’s progress in practical AI on social media before. Regardless of these claims, Krupski voiced his concerns on the use of AI in Tesla’s Autopilot feature in his initial interview with Zoe Kleinman, the BBC’s technology editor, in the UK. The driver must still actively participate in order to use this feature, which encompasses assistance driving and parking.
The fact that Tesla’s self-driving technology isn’t ready for usage on public roads in a safe manner is Krupski’s main worry. He thinks everyone on the road, not only Tesla drivers, is unknowingly participating in an experiment that could have serious consequences.
Krupski discovered evidence in his study that Tesla may have disregarded safety laws meant for autonomous or assistive-driving vehicles. He also found examples of “phantom braking,” a problem that has been brought up by Tesla customers: the abrupt braking of the vehicles in response to immaterial barriers.
In the United States, Tesla drivers using Autopilot were more likely to have airbag-deploying crashes per 5 million miles, according to Tesla’s internal data, compared to 1.5 million miles for Tesla drivers who did not use Autopilot. Every 600,000 miles, on average, similar accidents occur among drivers in the United States. The BBC does admit, however, that it cannot confirm these numbers on its own.
Since January, several organizations, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, have been scrutinizing Tesla’s claims about its assisted driving capabilities. The U.S. Department of Justice has also joined the investigation.
The data protection authorities in the Netherlands, the location of Tesla’s European headquarters, launched an investigation after Krupski revealed 100 GB of internal material to Handelsblatt, which he nicknamed the “Tesla Files.”
According to Krupski, his time spent blowing the whistle was “terrifying,” causing him a great deal of emotional pain and a lack of sleep. However, the Blueprint for Free Speech Whistleblowing Prize has recognized his efforts.
According to Jack Stilgoe, an autonomous vehicle expert and associate professor at University College London, Krupski’s findings make us doubt the practicality of using AI on public roadways and other commonplace places.
According to the King’s Speech, the UK government is planning to introduce an Automated Vehicles Bill in light of the changing self-driving technological landscape. To meet the specific difficulties brought about by this new technology, this law seeks to provide a regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles.