A video showing a Tesla car’s Autopilot system giving up on a road in Vietnam shows the limits of the carmaker’s self driving software when it comes to different kinds of driving environments.
On Tuesday, Twitter user Tu Minh shared a video of a Tesla vehicle attempting to navigate a chaotic Vietnamese road, complete with cars, swerving scooters and other obstacles.
I found a video about Tesla's autopilot in Vietnam.
That poor system just gave up. pic.twitter.com/9J3FlL2tsw
— Tu “Mask Up” Minh (@vn_tuhm) March 30, 2021
“I found a video about Tesla’s autopilot in Vietnam. That poor system just gave up,” he tweeted.
The footage shows the vehicle’s sensors picking up the all the many objects whizzing around the car.
After a few moments, the Autopilot feature brings the crawling vehicle to a complete halt. Then a prompt pops up with a graphic of hands on a steering wheel with the text ‘Take over immediately’. Essentially, the self-driving feature shit the bed.
That Tesla’s Autopilot feature doesn’t work in some places isn’t a massive surprise. Tesla doesn’t sell cars directly in Vietnam, although keen beans are able to get their hands on the vehicles by importing them or buying from other importers.
Buried on their website is a document that outlines that some aspects of the cars don’t work in ‘gray markets’, which are countries where Tesla doesn’t sell directly.
“Certain features are not available at all, such as Connectivity, Infotainment, and Driver’s Assistance features (e.g. Autopilot),” it says.
Now, the fact that Tesla’s systems don’t work in Vietnam is far from the worse case scenario. It is commendable that the software recognises that this ain’t Kansas anymore and reverts to manual driving rather than yeeting the car into a divider as has happened.
That being said, this reminds us about the US-centric nature of many of the Silicon Valley’s pet companies who design their products with their own country in mind.
Even accepting Tesla’s less-than-perfect safety record on US roads, this videos shows that true autonomous driving for anyone in Vietnam or around the world is still a while off yet.