Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] recently launched a software update for its Model S enabling the car to drive autonomously in certain situations, such as along a multilane highway. Naively, Tesla trusted that Model S owners would use the system according to certain rules, such as keeping their hands on the steering wheel.
Coming as no surprise, Tesla was wrong in its thinking as there are already several videos of Model S owners using the system with no hands on the wheel and on the wrong types of roads. Both instances occur in this video from YouTube user RockTreeStar, resulting in a near miss.
At present, there haven’t been any reported accidents involving a Model S being driven using the automaker's autonomous system, known as the Autopilot. Nevertheless, Tesla is planning to place some constraints on the system.
“This is not good,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a recent earnings call. “We'll put on some constraints on Autopilot to minimize people doing crazy things with it.”
Mercedes-Benz was the first automaker to offer an autonomous driving mode. The feature, called Steering Assist, first appeared on the 2014 S-Class and allows the car to drive autonomously on highways. However, unlike Tesla’s Autopilot, Steering Assist has a system to detect if a driver’s hands are on the wheel.