Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, recently admitted that the company is going to add some additional constraints to the Autopilot system which is already implemented in its self driving car. The announcement came during the company’s recent quarterly earnings call. All this is done for preventing drivers from doing some crazy things while the feature is activated which in the end may endanger their lives and other road users.
The restrictions were planned after a few videos showing a few people turning on Autopilot on backroads and drove without putting their hands on the wheel. This is not what Autopilot intended to do in the first place.
There is no further information on what constraints the company are going to put in the semi-autonomous driving system. However, it is easy to guess that they are going to put a freeway-only parameter and some algorithm to monitor how long the driver has removed their hands from the steering wheels. If it is long enough then most probably there will be some alerts to remind the driver to put his or her back onto the steering wheel.
A gentle reminder for all Model S owner with Autopilot feature out there, please keep at least one hand on the wheel and only activate the feature on freeway. Tesla Autopilot feature might be stable but as it is a system, there might be some undetected issues, so therefore, it is better to be safe.