Dutch road safety experts worried about Tesla self-driving system

tesla model sDutch road safety organisation VVN said on Monday it is concerned that motorists with the new Tesla Model S, which can be fitted with a self-driving system, will be tempted to take their hands off the wheel.

The US car company has been given the green light to roll out its autopilot software all over the globe and that means 2,000 Dutch owners will also be able to use it, the Telegraaf says on Monday.

The package includes an ‘auto steerage’ system which automatically keeps a car in a lane and away from the vehicle in front. The car can also park itself, change lanes and warn about blind corners.

VVN says it is worried about the impact on road safety. Even though Telsa itself says drivers should always keep their hands on the wheel, ‘owners will not be able to resist temptation’, the organisation said. ‘And we do not consider this to be responsible.’

The VVN says self-driving software should only be permitted when it has been shown to be 100% safe. There are many videos in circulation showing near accidents involving the Tesla S, the organisation pointed out.

Tesla says the autopilot system does not relieve the driver of responsibility. ‘Tesla Autopilot functions like the systems that airplane pilots use when conditions are clear. The driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car,’ the company said in a statement.

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