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And your car might be able to, as well. Here’s how to check.

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

Tesla gets a lot of attention for its Autopilot feature, which the company touts as offering “full self-driving” capabilities, suggesting that a new Model S or Model Y is essentially an autonomous car. Earlier this month, though, Tesla admitted to California regulators that their cars are anything but. “The currently enabled features do not make the vehicle autonomous,” the company’s website says. “Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability are intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment,” the site adds.

I spoke to a friend…

There’s Still Plenty of Work To Do

Image: Cruise

Humans are notoriously bad at estimating how long it will take to do something that hasn’t been done before, particularly when it comes to technology that doesn’t exist yet. Amara’s Law sums it up most succinctly: “We overestimate the effect of technology in the short-term and underestimate the effect in the long run.” The impact of automated driving systems (ADS) is a prime example. At some point, automated vehicles (AVs), including robotaxis, will likely become a primary means of transporting people and goods, but a lot has to happen between now and then.

AVs are an idea almost as old…

Cars are just giant smartphone chargers

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

None of my friends have cars. In fact, many of them can’t even drive. This wasn’t surprising when I was a child, but now that I’m in my thirties and have friends who are managers and lawyers and have other adult jobs, you’d think more of them would have a car parked outside.

Some of this is location. If you live in a big city, like London or New York or Chicago, owning a car is less privilege and more liability. There is the cost of parking and the risk of car crime and when you do drive, there is…

Elon Musk vs. the Mayfly

Photo: shanecotee/Getty Images

On October 19, 2016, Elon Musk kicked off the lie about Tesla Full Self-Driving capabilities: “The basic news is that all Tesla vehicles exiting the factory have the hardware necessary for Level 5 autonomy. So that in terms of the cameras and compute power, it’s every car we make. So, on the order of 2,000 cars a week are shipping now with Level 5, meaning hardware capable of a full self-driving or driverless capability.”

Don’t get me wrong—I am not among those in the $TSLAQ community on Twitter who believe that everything Musk touches is a massive fraud. While there…

We’re nowhere near proving that automated driving technology is safer than human drivers

Photo: Yandex

Back in late 2016, Michigan became one of the first states to pass laws explicitly governing the testing and deployment of automated vehicles (AVs). Part of that package of new rules included the ability to test vehicles on public roads without a safety driver. Numerous states now have similar regulations in place, but they all have one thing in common. Nowhere in the United States are AV companies required to prove to local officials that their vehicles are actually safe to operate on public roads.

Training and evaluating humans who want to get a driver’s license in the United States…

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