Tesla, Mobileye Accelerate War of Words Over Autopilot

Sep 17, 2016, 01:03

"When Tesla refused to cancel its own vision development activities and plans for deployment, Mobileye discontinued hardware support for future platforms and released public statements implying that this discontinuance was motivated by safety concerns", the spokeswoman said.

Amnon Shashua, chief technology officer at Mobileye, told Reuters that Tesla's Autopilot "is not created to cover all crash situations in a safe manner".

A man looks around Tesla Motors' Model S P85 at its showroom in Beijing, China. No matter how you spin it, (Autopilot) is not designed for that. "It is a driver assistance system and not a driverless system", he added.

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Tesla faces new scrutiny in China about its vehicle Autopilot system after state television broadcast allegations that a man killed in a crash had activated the driver-assist feature of his auto. Because of the damage caused by the collision, the vehicle was physically incapable of transmitting log data to our servers and we therefore have no way of knowing whether or not Autopilot was engaged at the time of the crash.

China's CCTV on Wednesday reported 23-year-old Gao Yaning died in January after crashing into the back of a road sweeping vehicle while driving a Tesla auto on a highway in the northeastern province of Hebei.

Tesla denied that the changes to the website had been in response to Mr Luo's accident, and has repeatedly said the company had never described Autopilot as an autonomous technology or self-driving vehicle. Tesla says it tells drivers that they must continue to pay attention while Autopilot is working and be ready to retake control of the vehicle. At the time of the crash, the Tesla driver had the autopilot feature engaged and later blamed it for the crash, saying that it had been implied by the Beijing salesperson that the vehicle was self-driving and that the autopilot system could fill in for the driver's responsibilities. Each time the feature is activated, a driver receives text and audio warnings to inform the driver to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times.

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Tesla also stated that Mobileye tried to pressure Tesla to stop development of its own autonomous driving system.

"We were saddened to learn of the death of our customer's son".

If the system works as designed, a warning will be issued if the driver isn't touching the steering wheel and the vehicle will allegedly slow down if the warning is ignored.

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The comments escalate a public rift rarely seen in the industry between automakers and suppliers. After Mobileye announced its break with Tesla in July in the wake of the fatality, Tesla said Mobileye could not keep pace with Tesla's product changes.

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