Tesla announced last week that its Model S now has an autopilot mode. And it didn’t take long for a few Tesla owners to try it out and post the videos to YouTube.
“We think of it sort of as a public beta,” said CEO Elon Musk at the press conference, Popular Mechanics reported. “I think it is going to be quite a profound experience for people when they use it.”
However, Musk also said: “We want people to be quite careful with the autopilot,” adding at the press conference that drivers should keep their “hands on the wheel” while using it.
Well, the Guardian has unveiled a couple videos from Tesla owners who didn’t quite listen to Musk’s advice about keeping hands on the wheel. Overall, you’ll see the Tesla Model S perform really well on autopilot in both situations — until it doesn’t.
From YouTube user mrksvideos, driving around the Portland area.
And from RockTreeStar, driving on a curvy road here:
On the positive side, Jalopnik called its test drive around NYC, “creepy and wonderful,” with its test driver, a little anxious but also geeking out about the car’s capabilities, also taking hands off the steering wheel a few times:
Musk said at the press conference that a fully autonomous Model S could be out by 2018.
While the autopilot is clearly in beta mode, the company also got an unrelated blow from Consumer Reports yesterday when they rated the Model S on reliability, finding that the car had “too many problems to recommend.”
They’ll figure it out eventually, but until then, keep your hands on the wheel.