A Self-Driving Tesla Should Have A Huge Warning Sign On Its Roof
Just as with “student driver” signs, pedestrians should know when an AI is at the wheel
When you’re a student driver, you’re a little dangerous behind the wheel. You don’t quite know how to control the vehicle.
Society has a vested interest in helping you learn to drive. So that means letting you take the wheel on city streets.
Risky, but over the years, US states have figured out some reasonable compromises. In places like New York State, driving schools have to outfit their cars with a dual-control brake, so the instructor can stop the car. And — crucially — the cars must sport a “student driver” sign, so everyone who sees it knows: Hey, be careful around that driver. They don’t know what they’re doing yet.
These days, we have a new type of student driver on the road: Tesla cars that are being piloted by AI, using Tesla’s so-called “Full Self Driving” mode. It’s beta software that’s still full of kinks, so the cars occasionally make some pretty dangerous moves.
So Tesla, and Tesla owners, should play by the same rules. If you’re running your Tesla in “self driving” mode, cool. But you should be required to suction-cup a big ol’ warning sign to your roof, like that one I posted up top.
Or perhaps one like this …
Obviously we should get a good designer to make a better sign, heh. (I ginned these up myself.)
But the design principles are sound. The signs should be big, loud, and obvious. Anyone should see that Tesla coming from blocks away — in case they want to give it a wide berth.
Because wow, they really might.
I thought about this recently while watching videos of Tesla owners trying out the latest version of Tesla’s self-driving AI, “Beta 9”. The code came out a few weeks ago, and the videos…