Lucy Nicholson / REUTERS
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
There are some kinks that still need ironing out in Tesla’s new “autopilot” feature.
It’s a step towards the goal of fully autonomous driving, and lets the electric vehicle’s on-board computer automatically steer, change lanes, and adjust speed. But some people are complaining that it keeps making them accidentally exit highways.
Posting on the forum Tesla Motors Club, user “demendus” wrote that his coworker’s vehicle has autopilot, and when “going down the highway at around 65 MPH, the AP [autopilot] wanted to exit at every potential exit, when driving in the right lane (not exit exclusive one).”
Other forum posters say they have encountered the same issue. “That occured to me a few times as well,” responded Stoneymonster. “The mapping over time should improve this.”
Letsgofast says that “I drove past like 100 exits tonight and it never tried to take any of them. On surface streets it tried to take turn lanes repeatedly. Not sure what to make of that.”
“I drove home last night in the left HOV lane and then later in the Right lane,” blanche writes. “Both left and right lanes have exit ramps. At every opportunity, AP tried to jump into the exit ramp (left and right). I was on the Toll Road off the beltway around DC. Definitely a bug as I even had the GPS running to clue the car in as to where I was going. Not a big issue certainly, as I kept my fingers on the wheel, but at 65mph, it causes a visible wobble in the car when I have to grab the wheel and force the car back into lane.”
Here’s a video that YouTuber Tuan made of autopilot taking a highway exit he didn’t intend:
Business Insider has reached out to Tesla for comment, and will update this story when it responds.
Tesla has urged caution when using autopilot, and stressed that it is not a replacement for human driving. “The driver cannot abdicate responsibility,” said CEO Elon Musk. “That will come at some point in the future.”
On its website, Tesla frames the feature as similar to “the systems that airplane pilots use when conditions are clear,” but makes clear that “the driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car. What’s more, you always have intuitive access to the information your car is using to inform its actions.” Autopilot can be overriden by taking control of the wheel at any time.
Autopilot is currently available for compatible Tesla vehicles in North America. Musk said on Twitter that its launch in Europe and Asia is “pending regulatory approval. Hopefully get the ok in the next few weeks.”
Autopilot release to Europe and Asia pending regulatory approval. Hopefully get the ok in the next few weeks.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 19, 2015