Tesla’s ‘Assertive’ mode brings ‘rolling stops’ to self-driving

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Photo: Robert Alexander (Getty Images)

Tesla brought back its Full Self-Driving Profiles (FSD) approximately three months later pulling functionality from an October update. The three driving profiles, labeled “Chill”, “Average” and “Assertive”, dictate how FSD-equipped Teslas behave in certain scenarios and how much risk the vehicles can take when making decisions. Profile settings images, first Underline by The Verge, displays on-board descriptions associated with settings that dictate vehicle following distance and lane change frequency.

FSD’s assertive profile is particularly interesting here because, according to the images, “it will have a smaller following distance, make more frequent speed lane changes, won’t get out of passing lanes, and can make more stops. wheels”. Tesla’s wording regarding roll-stops here remains unclear, especially since roll-stops at stop signs in the United States are in general illegal. Gizmodo contacted Tesla for comment but did not hear back.

The “Chill” profile, on the other hand, aims for Teslas to maintain a greater following distance and make fewer speed lane changes, according to the images. job by Twitter user @digitalhen. FSD’s ‘Average’ profile unsurprisingly strives to find common ground, though, like assertiveness, it can also engage in more rolling stops.

FSD profiles were part of a Tesla over-the-air update pushed late last year, but were quickly removed after CEO Elon Musk reported “seeing issues” that briefly prevented some drivers from accessing the FSD feature.

Balancing public safety and personal driver comfort remains one of the thorniest dilemmas for the development of autonomous vehicles, a compromise dictated as much by philosophy as technical performance. To put that into perspective, one of the best rallying cries among self-driving vehicles” supporters revolves around the argument that more AVs on the roads will reduce accidents since the majority of these accidents currently result from human error. However, a 2020 to study of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimated that audio-visual systems could only eliminate about a third of car accidents if these systems were designed to drive in a way that resembles humans, such as the assertive mode of the FSD seems to do it.

Instead, the report determined that audio-visual systems should be designed to prioritize safety over driver preferences if the greatest promises of audio-visual safety were to become reality. Although crashes resulting from “sensing and perception errors” and incapacitation (factors that self-driving vehicles would likely address) accounted for 23% and 10%, respectively, of total crashes in the IIHS study, 40% additional ones were the result of planning and decision errors. such as speeding and illegal maneuvers, which are not necessarily solved simply by evolving towards autonomous systems.

“Building self-driving cars that drive as well as people is a big challenge in itself,” said Alexandra Mueller, IIHS research scientist and lead author of the study. declaration. “But they should actually be better than that to deliver on the promises we’ve all heard.”

Tesla’s foray into assertive driving comes despite growing scrutiny of FSD and Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance feature by regulators and safety advocates The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration open an official investigation into Autopilot last summer following an increase in cases of vehicles equipped with the automated system colliding with emergency response vehicles. The company was also critical by the head of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board late last year for his efforts to expand the FSD beta to more drivers before tackling “basic safety issues.” The first serious accident involving the FSD appears to have occurred in November, according to complaint filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

None of this seemed to deter Tesla from its FSD expansion. In fact, last week Musk announcement his company would increase the price of FSD to $12,000 – from the previous price of $10,000 – and signal further price increases can follow.

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