Tesla drivers are doing their own tests to determine if the carmaker’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software stops for children. A video from Tesla critic Taylor Ogan went viral after it showed a side-by-side comparison of a Tesla next to a Lexus that appears to be equipped with Luminar autonomous driving sensors. In the clip, the Tesla plows over a child-sized mannequin, while the Lexus slows to a halt mere feet from the same object. The video currently has 12 million views on Twitter and counting.
When taking a closer looker, the original video shows a failure of Tesla’s Automatic Emergency Braking system (AEB) and FSD was not in use. Tesla’s AEB is designed to work at speeds between 3 to 90 miles per hour, though the company has added the disclaimer that it is “designed to reduce the severity of an impact” and not to “avoid a collision.” “Of course it’s not going to stop for a child consistently on an advanced software if it’s not stopping on AEB,” Ogan said. Tech CEO Dan O’Dowd shared a similar video of a Tesla that was allegedly using FSD driving through a toddler-sized mannequin at about 25 miles per hour.
The videos have spurred debates on Twitter as to whether FSD was truly activated during the test and several users attempted to recreate the test with varying results. These tests were all done independently without the oversight of a US regulator, which means they are not subject to testing standards. Tesla CEO Elon Musk called O’Dowd’s video a “scam” in a comment on Twitter. Tesla has told drivers that the system does not replace a licensed driver and instructs them to keep their hands on the wheel and be prepared to take over when the system is running.
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