DETROIT (AP) — Earlier this week, Tesla sent out its “full self-driving” software to a small group of owners who will test it on public roads. But buried on its website is a disclaimer that the $8,000 system doesn’t make the vehicles autonomous and drivers still have to supervise it.
The conflicting messages have experts in the field accusing Tesla of deceptive, irresponsible marketing that could make the roads more dangerous as the system is rolled out to as many as 1 million electric vehicle drivers by the end of the year.
As a tech investor, I get to talk to some intriguing people. But there’s one group that I think is really special. These are people who are supremely talented, endlessly curious, fanatically committed, and who are unconstrained by disciplinary boundaries. This combination of traits makes them uniquely well-suited to solve the world’s most critical and intractable problems. I’ve dubbed these individuals “missionary misfits,” and every few months, I’ll introduce readers to one of these extraordinary humans.
The first missionary misfit I’d like you to meet is Missy Cummings. Missy is a professor in Duke’s School of Engineering and the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences; she’s also the director of the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory and Duke Robotics. Her research centers on autonomous vehicles and the policy, ethical, and social impact of autonomous technologies.
Hybrid vehicles have become more and more popular in the U.S. since Toyota introduced the Prius. This fuel efficient vehicle is equipped with a small engine that is powered commonly by gasoline. Its fuel efficiency is due to the use of an electric motor which supplies the additional power to aid the engine.
While a small engine may not be suitable for some driving conditions, the electric motor powered by an on board battery pack makes the power produced by the small engine adequate enough. But designers and engineers in the auto industry are constantly looking for ways to improve the performance of a hybrid vehicle. Turbodyne Technologies Inc. is one of the companies looking for ways to improve the performance of hybrid cars. Recently, the company announced that they have developed a new technology which is aimed to help hybrid vehicles perform even better.