Pokemon GO has been in the spotlight for quite some time now. It has also been the reason for a lot of weird happenings around the world. Judging the popularity of the game and the necessity to move from place to place in order to catch the augmented creatures, it wouldn’t be long before someone exploited the autopilot feature in cars to play the game. And rightly so, a user going by the name of Gary Zhou uploaded a video on YouTube depicting how the game can be played while his Tesla Model X’s Autopilot mode is deployed.
To those unfamiliar, Tesla’s Autopilot is a semi-autonomous system marked as level two on a scale of four levels by US Dept. of Transport. Although Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk argues that Autopilot is ready for the public, and has undergone stringent testing, the feature is still in beta phase. The beta tag implies that the driver bears the risk if any mishap occurs and the terms and conditions laid down by Tesla are not followed. They also strictly advise the drivers to keep their hand on the steering wheel all the time and be attentive, as Autopilot is not meant to replace the driver, and just act as an assisting service.
But according to Gary, Autopilot is quite safe to be driven around at moderate speeds of about 45 to 50 mph while playing Pokémon Go. In the video, he mentions that Tesla’s Autopilot feature is 100% safe except lane changes and also that it provides a distraction-free experience to playing the game. He goes on to argue that the car will never prompt the driver to take over the wheel as long as there are clear lane markers and good surroundings. But according to a recent update from Tesla, the warnings have been more frequent and consistent.
The now-deleted video was recorded as he traversed down the I-95 highway near Washington DC, and commented on how ‘it’s fantastic to catch Pokemon on the GO’. Tesla has recently been plagued with multiple accidents causing from Autopilot not working as it is intended to, and although it is the user’s fault, for the most part, the automobile company is taking in a lot of that heat. The name Autopilot is quite misleading, according to a lot of people, as the feature, in reality is a semi-autonomous system only. There has also been widespread criticism of the effectiveness and safety issues of Autopilot following a few major accidents that have happened with Tesla Autopilot recently.