Via John Stoll at WSJ, Mark Rosekind , the head administrator of NHTSA, stated last week at a conference in Detroit that the auto industry and the utilization of Tesla’s Autopilot “can’t wait until it’s perfect.”
As many are already aware, NHTSA is requesting an extensive list of varying information from the fatal crash in May involving one of Tesla’s biggest advocates, now late, Joshua Brown. While many still side with the implementation of features such as Autopilot, there are still those that call for it to be disabled, such as some from Consumer Reports. So with all of this controversy surrounding the effectiveness and abilities of Tesla’s semi-autonomous system, this statement from Mr. Rosekind is surprising and, actually, quite refreshing to hear.
We have already witnessed incidents where features powered by the Autopilot have saved lives. From the auto emergency braking (AEB) preventing a head-on collision in October of last year in Seattle, to as recently as a few days ago when the AEB was engaged just in time to stop from running into a pedestrian late at night in Washington D.C.
One thing is certain, autonomous technology, not only from Tesla, but all of the other manufacturers is important. Mr. Rosekind went on to iterate in his speech that it is imperative that any system or feature that can decrease or eliminate auto-related deaths and accidents is something that we should all be “desperate” for.