Tesla’s Autopilot Tech Is a Danger to Cyclists, Robotics Expert Says

Heather Knight is an expert in human-robot interfaces with a PhD from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and is doing post-doctoral research in social robotics. She published an essay about Tesla’s self-driving tech on the blogging platform Medium, entitled “Tesla Autopilot Review: Bikers Will Die.”

Despite its flaws, Knight gave Tesla’s Situation Awareness Display an A+ rating and said was her favorite feature of the car, because “it helps the driver understand shortcomings of the car, i.e., its perception sucks.” Robot-based systems in general, she added, “would benefit from communicating their limitations to people.”

Some of those who responded to Knight’s essay said that it didn’t provide enough evidence of flaws in the detection system, and that the headline on the article was unnecessarily inflammatory about the risks that autonomous driving poses to cyclists.