Tesla Autopilot confused by billboard

Occurred: April 2021

Tesla owner Andy Weedman discovered that his Tesla was registering a giant stop sign printed on a billboard as a real traffic sign, and so halting in the middle of the road.

Weedman tweeted and recorded a video of the Tesla stopping for the billboard, referring to it as an 'edge case'. 

Others went further, arguing that 'the world is absolutely crammed with out-of-the-ordinary situations we call edge cases,' and that it will 'likely take more than patchwork updates and fixes to actually reach full autonomy'

The discovery prompted commentators to observe that autonomous cars have a long way to go before they are truly fit for purpose. 

Operator: Andy Weedman
Developer: Tesla
Country: USA
Sector: Automotive
Purpose: Automate steering, acceleration, braking
Technology: Driver assistance system
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Safety
Transparency: Black box

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Type: Issue
Published: February 2023