The latest firmware update of the Tesla autopilot introduced a new feature called “unlimited speed”. It allows to activate the system at 90 mph which is equal to 150km/h in Europe. At this speed the driver doesn't need to steer the wheel but all the decisions are made by the AI. It's important to know, that the autopilot is used in real traffic and the first videos were uploaded to youtube in which proud Tesla owners have demonstrated how fast the AI can drive. The danger of an accident is increased.[2]

The problem from the legal side is, that in many countries it's allowed to drive at the highway so the probability is high, that in the next firmware upgrade the upper boundary of 90mph is canceled and in the future the Tesla autonomous car will drive with 200 km/h and more in real traffic. Is that a good idea? A highway is different from a flying corridor and a car is different from a hypersonic jet. Do we need autonomous cars which drive faster then 45 mph?

[1] Biondi, Francesco N., et al. "80 MPH and out-of-the-loop: Effects of real-world semi-automated driving on driver workload and arousal." Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting. Vol. 62. No. 1. Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, 2018.

[2] Vincent, Kevin. "Ethical Implications: The ACM/IEEE-CS Software Engineering Code applied to Tesla's" Autopilot" System." arXiv preprint arXiv:1901.06244 (2018).


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