Tesla video promoting self-driving was staged, engineer testifies

Elswamy, Musk and Tesla did not respond to requests for comment. However, the company warns drivers that they must hold the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle while using Autopilot.

Tesla’s technology is designed to help with steering, braking, speeding and changing lanes, but its features “do not make the vehicle autonomous,” the company said on its website.

To create the video, Tesla used 3D mapping on a pre-determined route from their home in Menlo Park, Calif., to Tesla’s then-headquarters in Palo Alto.

A driver stepped in to gain control on a test run, he said. He said the test car crashed into a fence in Tesla’s parking lot while trying to demonstrate that the Model X could park itself without a driver.

According to a transcript of the testimony obtained by Reuters, Ellswamy said, “The intention of the video was not to accurately portray what was available to customers in 2016. It was,” he said.

When Tesla released the video, Musk tweeted, “Tesla drives autonomously (no human input at all), traversing city roads, highway to road, finding parking. ”

tesla face Litigation and regulatory scrutiny About Driver Assistance Systems.

The U.S. Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into Tesla’s claims that its electric cars will be able to drive themselves in 2021 after a number of crashes involving Autopilot, Reuters reported.

new york times In 2021, citing unnamed sources, Tesla engineers made a 2016 video to promote Autopilot, saying that the route had been pre-mapped and that the car was trying to complete the filming. did not disclose that it crashed.

When asked if the 2016 video showed the performance of the Tesla Autopilot system that was available in production cars at the time, Ellswamy said, “No.”

Elluswamy was dismissed in a lawsuit against Tesla over the 2018 crash that killed Apple engineer Walter Huang in Mountain View, California.

Andrew McDevitt, a lawyer who represented Huang’s wife and questioned Elluswamy in July, told Reuters that “featuring the video without a disclaimer or asterisk is clearly misleading.”

In 2020, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that Huang’s fatal crash was likely caused by his distraction and Autopilot’s limitations. It said Tesla’s “poor monitoring of driver engagement” contributed to the crash.

Elluswamy said the driver can “trick the system” and trick the Tesla system into believing that he is paying attention based on feedback from the steering wheel when he is not paying attention. rice field. But he said Autopilot didn’t pose a safety hazard if drivers were paying attention.

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