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July 18, 2016

Tesla Working to Improve Autopilot, Musk Says

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says improvements are on the way for the electric car company’s Autopilot system.

The news comes just weeks after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the system following two crashes, one of them fatal.

Musk tweeted Sunday that that he had a “promising call” with German auto supplier Bosch, which makes the radar for the system.

“Looks like significant improvements possible via OTA software update,” he tweeted, adding. “Btw, want to thank both Bosch and MobilEye for their help and support in making Autopilot better. Please direct all criticism at Tesla.”

The fatal crash occurred May 7 in Williston, Florida when a Model S running Autopilot crashed into the side of a turning semi-truck that was crossing both lanes of a divided highway in front of the victim’s oncoming vehicle. Ohio resident Joshua Brown was killed.

In a July 1 crash, Albert Scaglione’s Model X hit a guard rail “off the right side of the roadway… crossed over the eastbound lanes and hit the concrete median,” the Pennsylvania State Police told the Detroit Free Press. Both Scaglione and his passenger, son-in-law Tim Yanke, survived the collision. The State Police said Scaglione claims to have activated Tesla’s autopilot before the crash occurred.

Musk recently told The Wall Street Journal that education in the use of the system is key.

“A lot of people don’t understand what it is and how you turn it on,” Musk said, adding that Tesla plans to publish guidelines on how Autopilot works and what drivers must do once they choose to activate the system.

Musk also tweeted some of the support it has been receiving — support that is much needed in light of the comments made by Consumer Reports and Consumer Watchdog.

Here’s a look at some of the commentary in support of Tesla and its Autopilot system:


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.