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​Man Speeds Down Highway In Driverless Tesla

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​Man Speeds Down Highway In Driverless Tesla

A man has filmed himself being driven along a highway in a new driverless Tesla, kicking back in the passenger seat while the car does all the hard work.

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Albert Siplen, the proud new owner of a Tesla Model X, videoed himself cruising down a highway near Henderson, North Carolina, showing off the vehicle's sophisticated autopilot feature.

During the clip, shot on 27 September, Siplen is sitting in the front passenger seat, relaxing as the car glides down the road unassisted - maintaining speed and lane position without any intervention.

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"I was nervous my first time doing it," Siplen said.

It's worth noting that Tesla doesn't recommend using the autopilot feature in such a way - and that you still need to have someone sitting in the driver seat, rather than chilling elsewhere in the vehicle.

The Tesla website states: "Current Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous."

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There have been multiple incidents of Tesla vehicles crashing while Autopilot was engaged, with an investigation finding earlier this year that an Apple employee who died in 2018 after his Tesla hit a concrete barrier was playing a smartphone game at the time of the crash.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously blamed drivers' 'complacency' for the spate of accidents, saying vehicle owners 'get too used to' the Autopilot function.

According to Tesla, its vehicles' self-driving capability can manage both long and short journeys, regardless of traffic conditions.

Credit: Albert Siplen via Storyful
Credit: Albert Siplen via Storyful
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It can even assume a passenger's destination based on their calendar.

"Autopilot advanced safety and convenience features are designed to assist you with the most burdensome parts of driving," the Tesla website says.

"Autopilot introduces new features and improves existing functionality to make your Tesla safer and more capable over time.

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"Autopilot enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane."

Musk recently hosted the 2020 Shareholders Meeting and Battery Day, which didn't go exactly as planned as he ended up presenting a prototype instead of a working battery.

Elon Musk. Credit: PA
Elon Musk. Credit: PA

Despite the blips of the event, Musk defended what happened on the New York Times' podcast Sway, saying 'the average person has no idea' about what happens when it comes to manufacturing.

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Hitting out at the media, he said: "The press coverage of this event was sad.

"Most of the press coverage was a sad reflection of their understanding, really."

Musk continued: "This is something that the average person has no idea about whatsoever. Smart people on Wall Street generally have not the faintest clue about manufacturing and how difficult it is. They think that once you have come up with a prototype, that's the hard part and everything else is trivial copying after that. It's not. It's perhaps 1 percent of the problem.

"Large-scale manufacturing, especially of a new technology, it's something between 1,000 and 10,000 percent harder than the prototype."

Featured Image Credit: Albert Siplen via Storyful

Topics: tesla, elon musk, News, Technology

Jess Hardiman
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