In a Brooklyn Drive, Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Mode Seems Scary for Everyone

Matt McFarland, CNN:

I’d spent my morning so far in the backseat of the Model 3 using “full self-driving,” the system that Tesla says will change the world by enabling safe and reliable autonomous vehicles. I’d watched the software nearly crash into a construction site, try to turn into a stopped truck and attempt to drive down the wrong side of the road. Angry drivers blared their horns as the system hesitated, sometimes right in the middle of an intersection.

The Model 3’s “full self-driving” needed plenty of human interventions to protect us and everyone else on the road. Sometimes that meant tapping the brake to turn off the software, so that it wouldn’t try to drive around a car in front of us. Other times we quickly jerked the wheel to avoid a crash. (Tesla tells drivers to pay constant attention to the road, and be prepared to act immediately.)

Watch the video where CNN editor Michael Ballaban drives — well, is present — this thing. It looks terrifying. I am not sure about you, but I would prefer to be in control at all times, rather than relying on partial automation while I maintain a driving level of focus so I may rescue the car when it screws up.

There are caveats, certainly. This is beta software, and it is certainly impressive that it can do some basic driving on its own. But this is not a self-driving car — not even close.