Tesla tweeted today that the company’s autopilot driving has surpassed the 1 billion mile mark. What’s impressive is that the company has surpassed the mark in just under four years, and the amount of data that they have accumulated will help future autopilot systems.
If you’re a rideshare driver, there is some good and bad news out of this announcement.
Starting with the Bad
Tesla vehicles are offering more autopilot options, and this may mean a future where fully autonomous vehicles start cutting into the rideshare business. There will always be people that prefer to talk to a human, and these individuals will choose rideshare drivers to get them from Point A to Point B.
But Tesla has logged a billion miles, and from a big data standpoint, this is huge for the company.
Vehicles, if we’re going to ever reach the point of full autonomy, need data to operate. The artificial intelligence requires these data points to:
- Assess dangers
- Understand driver behavior
- Adjust systems to the road
What this means is that Tesla has accumulated a billion miles of:
- Good driving behavior
- Bad driving behavior
- Road markings
When creating an autonomous system, the system will operate better when there is enough data to eliminate unknowns. Tesla is on the path of eliminating these unknows because the company has surely gathered and is assessing all of this data.
If you fear the rise of automation in the automobile industry, this data may scare you.
Ending on a Positive Note
“Unfortunately, every time we enter the roadway, we are placing our safety — and our lives — in the hands of other drivers who may be impaired, reckless or distracted,” explains Steinberg Goodman & Kalish.
But Tesla’s system has learned a lot.
You see, Tesla is using this data to make their vehicles safer. Data will also be used to adjust and create other safety measures to ensure:
- Vehicles merge safely
- Vehicles adjust to road hazards
- Vehicles slow and speed up as needed
- Vehicles stop when objects are in front of them
Automation has the potential to save millions of lives each year, and Tesla is definitely pushing the technology to new heights. The company knows that the key to success in autopilot driving is being the first company to offer a solid, safe solution.
The possibilities that autopilot offers rideshare drivers is impressive.
We’ll soon be driving on safer roads with vehicles that may be able to drive themselves and help humans avoid common errors that lead to accidents.
If you fear this announcement, you’ll be happy to know that Tesla still recommends drivers stay behind the steering wheel when operating a vehicle in autopilot. Not only is human intervention needed, but the automaker recommends that drivers keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times when using autopilot.
Safety is of the utmost importance, and even Tesla knows that automation still has its flaws.
Rideshare drivers still have their place in the world of transportation, and autopilot is only going to make us safer drivers.