A former Tesla employee has raised doubts about the technology powering the company’s self-driving vehicles, believing they are not ready to be used on public roads.
The whistleblower is Lukasz Krupski, who was a service technician for Elon Musk’s firm at their plant in Oslo, Norway,
As reported by BBC News, he leaked information that included customer complaints regarding Tesla’s self-driving software and braking. This led to an expose by German newspaper Handelsblatt which published the ‘Tesla Files’, sharing key information following the 100GB of internal data that came from Mr Krupski.
“I don’t think the hardware is ready and the software is ready,” he stated.
“It affects all of us because we are essentially experiments in public roads. So even if you don’t have a Tesla, your children still walk in the footpath.”
Tesla self-drive taken to task over safety concerns
The automotive company, which has its European headquarters in the Netherlands, has not yet responded to the report.
Krupski added that “I barely sleep at night sometimes,” and that his recent experience had been “terrifying” but he will possibly feel vindicated at his actions have been recognized with the Blueprint for Free Speech Whistleblowing Prize.
The BBC report also detailed that other Tesla employees had briefed Krupski on vehicles randomly braking in response to non-existent obstacles, known as ‘phantom braking’.
This featured in the data that he found and leaked externally, which is likely to cause some worry for Tesla who will be conscious of the reputational damage that can arise from negative headlines like this.
In general terms, these worries about malfunctioning self-driving vehicles will not go away. It goes beyond Tesla and to the heart of what matters most, safety.
Manufacturers, despite the advances of AI and related technologies, need to allay the fears of consumers and the public that the required testing, quality control and measures are in place before these vehicles are on our roads.
Earlier in December, Tesla began deliveries of its Cybertruck – the carmakers first EV pick-up truck.
Featured image: Pixabay