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Tesla to add constraints to the Autopilot to stop Model S owners from pushing the system

Tesla-autopilotDuring the conference call to discuss the company’s third quarter financial results, Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented on the recent release of the Autopilot and the ways Model S owners are using it. Musk said that the company was aware of many accidents that were prevented by Autopilot, and not aware of any caused by it.

But he added that they saw some “fairly crazy” videos on Youtube, which is now prompting the company to implement some additional constraints on when Autopilot can be activated, in hope of making it more difficult for owners to place themselves in those “crazy” situations. Here’s the full quote from the conference call:

But I do want to emphasize, we discouraged – there’s been some fairly crazy videos on YouTube, we are – this is not good. And we will be putting some additional constraints on when Autopilot can be activated to minimize the possibility of people doing crazy things with it.

Musk didn’t specify what the new constraints could be.

We recently reported on the DMV being confused about the Autopilot sending alerts every 10 seconds when hands are not detected on the steering-wheel. After meeting with Tesla prior to the release of the Autopilot, the agency seemed to think that this was one of the safety constraints the company implemented, but they are no time-based alert on the Autopilot as of now.

Based on Musk’s comments, this isn’t likely one of the new constraint Tesla will be adding since it would affect “how” owners use the Autopilot, while Musk is talking about “when” they can “activate” it.

New geo-fences or road conditions limitations are more likely constraints to allow the activation of ‘Autosteer’. In other words, the threshold for driving conditions to enable the Autopilot will be higher.

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