If you’ve spent any time on YouTube since electric car maker Tesla introduced its new semi-autonomous Autopilot feature to the Model S sedan last month, you might be able to guess where this is going.
Offering a level of self-driving technology that allows for limited hands-free driving without – so the theory goes – risk of an accident, the debut of Autopilot has predictably led some to test its full capabilities, beyond Tesla’s prescribed usage. (We tested it, too. See our video review here.)
As a matter of law, and as reminded by Tesla at the technology’s October launch, drivers of Autopilot-capable Model S cars are required to keep their hands on the wheel at all times, despite the car’s ability to steer itself.
But, with some users now uploading footage of dangerous usage to YouTube and other services, Tesla founder Elon Musk has revealed plans to restrict the level of freedom that the system allows.
Speaking with press during a phone conference today, Musk confirmed that a coming software update would add “some additional constraints” to the Autopilot and Autosteer systems.
Details of the update are still to be revealed, but Musk promised the update would “minimise the possibility of people doing crazy things with it”.
At launch last month, Tesla freely admitted that its Autopilot system is a ‘beta’ program, reminding owners to use the technology with caution.