The past two weeks haven't been kind to Tesla or Autopilot, the company's semi-autonomous driving software. Autopilot has been linked to at least one death and may have been a factor in at least two other crashes.
The fatal collision that took place in Florida on May 7 is now being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Preliminary reports suggest that the conditions that caused the accident were unusual, and it may very well be that another vehicle was to blame for the crash. However, Tesla has also taken this opportunity to remind the world that Autopilot is still in its beta phase and that it's not perfect.
In the wake of these incidents and under such intense scrutiny, you might think that Tesla would disable Autopilot--at least until the company can reassess the software's shortcomings. However, CEO Elon Musk insists that the company will do no such thing.
Musk does have a plan, though--not the "Top Secret Tesla Masterplan" that he's been tweeting about, but one that he hopes will address questions about whether Autopilot is safe to use.
What is this plan?
Apparently, it involves a blog post.
Yes, Musk has told the press that "A lot of people don't understand what [Autopilot] is and how you turn it on". That seems like the sort of thing that might've been made clear when Autopilot rolled out last last October, but perhaps not.
Or, more likely, Tesla owners--eager to start using the high-tech software--didn't bother to read the fine print before activating it.
And so, Tesla is now going to try again with an explanatory post on the Tesla blog.
Can a blog post persuade Tesla owners about the importance of using Autopilot correctly? If not, should Tesla take further steps to ensure that drivers understand the gravity of the situation--and if so, what are those steps?
We'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Sound off in the comments below.