Some people went too far when Tesla released its Autopilot Mode on the Model S.
Owners are taking videos of themselves eating breakfast, shaving, and texting (at the same time) while Autopilot is activated. One reckless soul even hopped into the backseat with the Tesla at full control and relaxed while the car handled the driving.
It’s gotten bad enough that Tesla will take action. Elon Musk said,
There’s been some fairly crazy videos on YouTube… 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.
Unfortunately, this could be a trend that doesn’t stop with Tesla. Case in point: the Nissan IDS Concept.
The IDS, if it ever reaches production, would be Japan’s version of the Model S. The hatchback can seat 4 people and be driven as a standard car. There’s an autonomous mode, though, that makes me think things are going too far.
CNN describes it like this:
The steering wheel moves back into the instrument panel, and a flat screen for entertainment extends out from it. The seats can swivel to face each other, making it easier for occupants to have a conversation.
Most intriguing perhaps, is that the IDS leads the trend for autonomous cars that don’t just drive us from A to B, but also mimics the driving style of their owners.
How is this a good idea? If the driver tends to accelerate fast or take corners like a rally driver, the car will do the same while driving itself. While, keep in mind, the passengers are sitting sideways or trying to watch a movie and not paying attention to what’s happening on the road in front of them. Plus, the steering wheel is retracted, and a TV is in its place.
That’s a lot of trust to put into a machine.
Nissan is calling its technology “Intelligent Drive” and will begin rolling out a version of it on vehicles within the next year.
On the positive side, the IDS Concept also gives us a peek into what the next-generation Leaf will look like, which is far sexier than the current version.
I may not agree with autonomous driving, but good looks are something I can get excited about.
Would you trust a car to take care of all driving responsibilities?
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