Raj Rajkumar, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who studies autonomous vehicles, told CNN Business that the camera on the side of the Tesla may essentially see a flat surface (the side of the truck) with the same color and texture, and incorrectly conclude that something is very close…
“Their side cameras very likely do not sense depth,” Rajkumar said. “With this ambiguity, the Tesla software may be concluding that it is best to be conservative and swerve.”
Tesla has a radar, but that is forward looking, so not aimed at trucks next to it. Ultrasonics are on all sides of the Tesla, but they’re really only useful for parking, Rajkumar said.
Rajkumar said that because “full self-driving” has “a lot of problems,” based on his assessment of beta testers’ YouTube footage, Tesla will need to prioritize what problems it addresses first and may not have had time to fully address the issue yet.