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Tesla amending autopilot system after fatal crash

Tesla Motors is working on amendments to its autopilot system after it failed to stop a fatal crash earlier this year. In a recent Twitter post, CEO Elon Musk said Tesla is improving its radar system, which is used (along with cameras and computers) to detect objects and automatically brake if the vehicle is about to hit something.

In the fatal crash on May 7, it was found that the cameras in the Tesla Model S were unable to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly-lit sky, and the radar sensors did not stop the car. Notably however, after the crash was made public late last month, the radar was overlooked as one of the contributing factors.

Nevertheless, Tesla is now working on decoupling the autopilot system’s radar from its cameras and allowing the radar to spot objects with fewer data points. The amendments to the radar technology will liken it to lidar, which Musk has rejected for use in the Tesla autopilot system. The CEO continues to support radar over lidar, stating that the benefit of radar technology is its ability to see through rain, snow, fog and dust. Lidar technology is used by the company’s competitor, Google.


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