Tesla's autopilot perceives dogs as pedestrians – and avoids ducks


Even the autopilot software in vehicles from Tesla now apparently recognizes what animal lovers and the vernacular have long known: the dog is the best friend of man. Apparently with one of the last updates the function has been improved, to recognize objects in and beside the traffic, because as several Tesla drivers report, now also dogs are recognized. However, the software assigns the four-legged friends of the same group as their masters and mistresses: the pedestrians.

A technology-savvy Tesla owner, who announces his discoveries on his Twitter account @greentheonly, shared a short video (and the crucial still image) that visualizes the detection of the autopilot software. A passerby on the roadside carries a dog, which is also marked as a "pedestrian object".

The software version was used here. Although the release notes repeatedly refer to improvements in the detection of objects, animals of the road traffic was probably not mentioned.

Twitter user @greentheonly also asked if anyone could walk by with their dog in front of their standing Tesla and check the discovery. Then User @ marks22 answered and confirmed with a photo that his dog placed in front of the vehicle is recognized in the central display of the car as a pedestrian.

In another, more spectacular, case, a Tesla autopilot software recently saved a collision with a group of ducks crossing a highway. The car dodged the oncoming lane just in time. The incident occurred in a curve and the visibility of the ducks is limited by the shade of trees. The driver posted the video of the Tesla-Cam on Youtube. which shows the surprising and impressive evasion maneuver. Whether a human driver could have responded in time and would not have run over the ducks or landed in the ditch, one may justifiably doubt.

Tesla is known for his sometimes original ideas about vehicle software. In 2016, for example, the manufacturer introduced a function that would never allow the interior temperature to rise above 40 degrees Celsius in a parked vehicle. This should be preserved in the car or children or dogs from a possible heat death.

However, the autopilot software is also due to malfunction in the criticism. In a fatal accident involving a computer-controlled Tesla in mid-2016, the software used a lorry-crossing trailer to mark a high-hanging traffic sign and did not initiate a braking maneuver. According to recent statements by the Wettbewerbszentrale, the advertising promises of autonomous driving with Tesla are going astray.

In another case, an autonomously driving test vehicle from car sales agent Uber collided in March 2018 in the US with a female pedestrian who was pushing her bicycle, illegally crossing a multi-lane road, and fatally injured her. As it emerged recently, the software did not recognize this "jaywalking" behavior of pedestrians. The pedestrian was repeatedly reclassified in the seconds before the collision and despite the imminent collision, the software did not initiate braking.


. (tagsToTranslate) Tesla Motors (t) WTF (t) autonomous driving