Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) is hard at work developing self-driving electric cars. Tesla’s system is different than its competitors in that it does not use lidar, but relies primarily on cameras surrounding the vehicle.
During an interview with automotive engineer Sandy Munro, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the system needs to be capable of handling all situations.
Munro was sharing an experience where the Autopilot system was confused due to incorrectly painted lines in the road and asked how to spark legislation to make sure roads are in pristine condition to allow self-driving vehicles.
Musk’s response was quite surprising. He did not blame the mispainted roads and said that even if the road is painted completely wrong and a UFO lands in the middle of the road, the Autopilot system needs to be capable of handling the situation safely.
Musk said Full Self Driving’s “prime directive is don’t crash.”
This takes precedence over all other priorities the system has. Munro and Musk both agreed that eventually this system will save more lives than seatbelts and airbags combined.
After all, no crash at all is safer than any crash, even with the latest safety equipment.
Tesla is testing its Full Self Driving in a limited beta, which is slowly being rolled out to the public. The system has even been recorded dodging animals on dirt roads.