It’s the scenario that Autopilot skeptics have been warning about. Today several Model 3 and Model S Tesla drivers reported Autopilot becoming disabled while driving with the semi-autonomous feature engaged.
Tesla owner Seth Low posted on Twitter that Autopilot stopped working without an obvious reason that morning, requiring him to take control of the vehicle with little warning.
His experience wasn’t unique–several Model 3 and Model S owners also described the same Autopilot fail on Reddit. And no, neither restarting the car nor rebooting the system brought the feature back online.
The bug appears to be affecting vehicles with Tesla Autopilot firmware 2018.42.2, 42.3, and 42.4. That electric vehicle manufacturer’s customer support confirmed that it was a “known software bug” responsible for disabling the functionality, according to Low. However, he was told by Tesla that the fix can be performed by them on the back end remotely. Autopilot resumed working after he stoped to Supercharge his vehicle.
Earlier this month, Seeing Machines, an Australian manufacturer of vehicle monitoring systems, reported a study that found that drivers were slower to react to emergency situations while Autopilot was engaged. Its study found that its drivers of the Teslas had an average event reaction times of 1.5 seconds, but the elapsed time more than doubled to 3.5 seconds when using Autopilot.
Photo Credit: Time Magazine