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Tesla Motors Inc. vehicles under Autopilot reported recent crashes and several questions were raised on the liability of driverless car technology, suggesting the company to disable the feature as well as to change the name to limit customers’ expectations. However, the car maker said that it will improve its technology despite such scrutiny.

The auto industry competitors doesn’t focus towards technological advancement. In fact, one car maker recently mentioned its move to claim a completely hands-free driving feature, close to ‘Level 3’ autonomy.

Further, the subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, Audi, announced the launching of its 2018 Audi A8 next year and is expected to be its first production vehicle to feature Level 3 capability.

The company’s stakes edge higher as it pledges full liability of the car driven under the autonomous mode, implying that any occurrences of accidents in the autonomous mode, the manufacturer will take responsibility and not the car owner.

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Tesla’s policy on Autopilot is largely different from Audi’s, which requires the car owner to keep hands on the wheels and consistently pay attention to the road. It therefore suggests that the electric car maker’s Autopilot is considered as a driver assist feature, rather than a completely autonomous feature as it lacks adaptability on road situations.  

Thus, it has consistently warned drivers to remain alert and in control while driving their vehicle, but there were also reports from car owners that some videos were posted online showing the car driving itself while passengers sit back and watch.

Given that Tesla Motors do not take responsibility for its Autopilot feature, it has been cleared in a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) probe on the May 7 Model S crash, leading the death of Joshua Brown.

Despite claiming full responsibility, Audi A8 are also demanding drivers to focus on the road as its system consistently monitors them. In addition, the system will ask the driver to control the wheels if an unfamiliar situation occurs such as harsh weather.   

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Continuous Improvement

Tesla Motors strives its best in improving its Autopilot feature, which seemed to have been a factor of a recent fatal accident.

CEO Elon Musk recently tweeted a “promising call” with a German auto supplier Bosch that will make the radar of the system. He mentioned “significant improvements” seems possible that would highlight Tesla’s electric car wireless through over-the-air updates.

Subsequently, Tesla finds support on sensor maker Mobileye on how to improve the system better.

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