This article is part of the Future Agenda, a series from Future Tense in which experts suggest specific, forward-looking actions the new Biden administration should implement.
In October, Tesla offered some of its customers an upgrade to its “Autopilot” driver-assistance system called “Full Self-Driving.” Anyone familiar with how Tesla cars work knows that “Autopilot” isn’t really “autopilot,” and “Full Self-Driving” isn’t “full” either. For now, the feature allows a car to stay within lanes on a road, automatically brake in an emergency, turn, and respond to traffic signals on its own. But the company warns drivers to “not become complacent” because the vehicle “may do the wrong thing at the worst time.” Indeed, within days of FSD’s launch, a YouTube video showed a Tesla trying to drive itself into a parked car. Tesla called FSD “beta”