The self-driving cars have become a largely talked topic in the auto industry. Almost every driver commuting at long distances want to have a special autonomous driving facility in their cars.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has taken a major step in this direction when on Thursday he announced introduction of autonomous technology in the vehicles by this summer.
According to the company, the autonomous technology would allow the drivers to hand over the control of their cars on “major roads” such as highways.
The maker of high-end electric cars said that there will be a software update and not a mechanical change after which Tesla’s Model S sedans will be able to start driving themselves in a hands-free mode, for at least part of the time. The company terms the autonomous driving mode as autopilot.
In the meanwhile, some industry experts have raised serious objections about the legalities of such autonomous driving technology. Moreover, they are also skeptical that Model S owners attempting the autopilot mode would not run afoul of the current regulations.
Addressing the concerns, Tesla spokesperson Alexis Georgeson said, “There was nothing in our autopilot system that is in conflict with current regulations.”
According to Georgeson, the system has been designed in such a way that it can be used by an alert driver.
“We don’t intend to get rid of the pilot. This is about releasing the driver from the tiring tasks so that they can focus more and provide better input,” she said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has earlier said that “any autonomous vehicle would need to meet applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. The agency will have the appropriate policies and regulations in place to ensure the safety of these types of vehicles.”