Thanks to the sci-fi movies and ambitious promises by tech giants, we imagine a utopia of self-driving cars. However, machines, as it seems, are not intelligent enough yet to be left with the steering wheel on their own. Now, in a viral video shared by Twitter user Jordon Nelson, the autopilot system of a Tesla car can be seen confusing the yellow moon in the sky with a yellow traffic light.
The video shows the car’s tablet screen and the view from the windscreen together. In the video, we can see that the moon, which appears to be yellow, is far and high in the sky. On the car’s interface screen, the chosen path of the car is visible inside two parallel blue lines and another car, running ahead of the user’s car, is also seen on the screen. Suddenly, a yellow traffic light appears on the screen out of nowhere. Interestingly, as the traffic light appears to come closer and pass, another yellow traffic light also emerges on the screen, and then another. Throughout the 23-second video, 13 yellow traffic lights appear on the screen and pass. But in reality, there is no yellow traffic light at all. What is there, is a yellow moon, far and high in the sky. The car’s perception algorithm seems to mistake the moon for a traffic light. The car kept wanting to slow down, Nelson added in the caption.
Sharing the video, Nelson tagged the car manufacturer company’s CEO and billionaire Elon Musk asking to have his team look into the issue. Despite being viewed by more than 9 lakh times, the video could not get a response from either Tesla or Musk. However, other Twitter users reacted to the tweet by either suggesting changes in the algorithms or by posting witty remarks. A user quipped, “Edge case. Only happens on planets with moons.”
Hey @elonmusk you might want to have your team look into the moon tricking the autopilot system. The car thinks the moon is a yellow traffic light and wanted to keep slowing down. @Teslarati @teslaownersSV @TeslaJoy pic.twitter.com/6iPEsLAudD— Jordan Nelson (@JordanTeslaTech) July 23, 2021
Edge case. Only happens on planets with moons.— Bonaire (@BonaireVolt) July 23, 2021
Haha, FSD 9 beta is shipping soon, I swear!Generalized self-driving is a hard problem, as it requires solving a large part of real-world AI. Didn’t expect it to be so hard, but the difficulty is obvious in retrospect.
Nothing has more degrees of freedom than reality.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2021
Musk has been exaggerating about full self-driving and Tesla’s advanced driver assist system, as the director of Tesla’s autopilot software admitted to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, according to a report by The Verge. Musk also recently admitted in a tweet that self-driving is harder than he expected.