Tesla Autopilot confused by billboard

Occurred: April 2021

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Tesla owner Andy Weedman has 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'. The discovery prompted commentators to observe that autonomous cars have a long way to go before they are truly fit for purpose. 

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'

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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Page info
Type: Incident
Published: February 2023