Not So Breaking News

Why is stuff so crazy? Media secret forethought the world is bonkers.

Recently Tesla Motors released a software update for their cars with a surprising new feature: autopilot. That’s right, certain models—Model S—of Tesla vehicles are now capable of self-navigating on the road. Tesla cars are virtual computers on wheels and if you don’t know about them yet, they are the fully electric, increasingly popular vehicle series by Elon Musk. Much is being said about this new feature, with videos being posted of drivers going hands-free coupled with videos of fender-benders. What I do not think has been truly explored is the lack of expectation for this feature!

Stephen Colbert said on the topic, “Tesla owners woke up to find their cars could drive themselves; finally, a high-tech alternative to jamming a brick on the gas petal and jumping into the back seat.”

To wake up and find that your car drives itself is one thing, but have the implications of making this happen been considered? Given the media coverage, it seems that this was not expected by the owners of the Model S Tesla vehicles giving foundation to the question: “what other systems are awaiting activation in my car?”

Incredible foresight must have gone into developing these systems that not only “auto-steer”, monitor one’s surroundings and generally navigate the streets, but to install them in a slick way to be hidden for later “surprise” overnight activation?

Take a look at Google Inc.’s autonomous vehicle and notice the very visible and “prototype-ish” systems in place. Then look again at what Tesla calls a “semi-autonomous vehicle.” Just from an aesthetic point of view there is as gap, not to mention the availability of the product.

Maybe what we should be surprised about is not the fact that this vehicle is self-driving as much as that it was designed from the start to have the potential to be.