Is Tesla Too Easily Trusted?


Graphic by M. Sharma.

If you’re looking out your window when you’re on the road, you may notice there are more Teslas than before winter break. Before 2023 started, Tesla had offered a discount causing many former hesitators to race for the dealerships. So, what does this mean for us as a community, drivers and non-drivers alike?

Many customers have bought Tesla for the “greener” outcome, but this can’t be the only reason. The cars come with the option for autopilot and include many safety features such as lane assist, collision avoidance assist, and more. In the Model Y, drivers do not need to hit the brake pedal when taking their feet off the accelerator; this allows for easier driving.

There is a sensor that senses cars (and cones) in front of the vehicle, as well as lane lines. But what else could it sense and display? Would it be able to sense an oncoming tree or cliff and be able to stop itself in time? The answer is shockingly no.

Tesla can calculate whether a collision between cars is possible when the Tesla Driver can prevent it from occurring, but what if they can’t save you in time? If another car is speeding towards a Tesla, can the Tesla make a sharp turn, or do you need to pay additional expenses for the autopilot package to do it for you?

It’s known that Tesla makes it safer to drive, but many drivers may overestimate their abilities. As more electric vehicles enter our area, we need to remember to keep ourselves safe and not over-rely on such features when it comes to life and death.