Sales of Tesla vehicles have been skyrocketing over the past year, and with that comes more drivers using Autopilot technology on the road. It’s a feature that offers added convenience and safety for its users, but this technology is still in its infancy. As such, new Tesla drivers must remain attentive while using Autopilot, and certain protections should be in place to ensure this. Companies, like the vehicle education company, Drivyn, are even taking this safety assurance for fresh generations of Tesla drivers one step further.
“The automotive industry’s disruption by the electric vehicle revolution leads to significant changes in the way people drive and interact with vehicles,” explains Dr. Sam Rabinowitz, CEO of Drivyn. “In particular, Tesla’s Autopilot is currently taking hold and will ultimately deliver on full self-driving automobiles’ promise.” However, even though this autonomous vehicle revolution is exciting, certain considerations must be made about its safety in the long term.
The need for autonomous driving instruction
While self-driving vehicles are generally considered to be safer than vehicles operated by human drivers, there are instances where the technology can falter, creating a situation where the human operator must be ready to react immediately or risk a potentially-undesirable outcome. Without adequate training on how to properly utilize this “self-driving” technology, owners of vehicles with autonomous driving features may not be equipped to know what best to do in urgent circumstances.
While Tesla does offer some basic knowledge of how to use their vehicles, many Tesla owners are still finding that this alone is not sufficient. They form communities and online forums that resemble “support groups”, sharing tips and anecdotal practices on how to operate a Tesla vehicle to its fullest capabilities. While these community resources are great, they are not sufficient on their own; a more personalized, face-to-face, structured solution needs to be offered to drivers in order to keep them in full control, while keeping them — and others on our roads — safe.
For people who are first learning how to drive a traditionally-operated vehicle, driving school options are available that will help them get the knowledge and behind-the-wheel experience they need to become comfortable operating a motor vehicle. Dr Rabinowitz asks: “Why isn’t there something like that for people who are transitioning from established to autonomous vehicle technology?” The technology is far more complex to operate than a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle, so having the appropriate level of training is necessary.
Drivyn’s instruction focuses on teaching current and prospective Tesla owners the basics, including skills needed to identify when their vehicle is (and isn’t) interpreting the road and surroundings properly.. “There are times to trust your Tesla’s autopilot, and others when you need to take control,” explains Dr. Rabinowitz. “Knowing when to do each can help you become comfortable and in complete control with any situation which arises, and ultimately avert a dangerous situation.”
Designing a P2P app for autonomous driving instruction
Drivyn connects Tesla owners with their peers who have the experience it takes to become an Advisor, providing instruction on best practices using self-driving vehicle technology. It’s a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace app that connects people looking to develop their autonomous driving skills with those who have the insight to help educate and guide them.
Drivyn’s instruction isn’t just for beginners starting with their first Teslavehicle, however. The company offers a wide range of curricula, from the fundamentals of using electric vehicles to more in-depth teaching on how to maximize your vehicle’s performance. According to Dr. Rabinowitz, it all comes down to giving the driver the best experience possible in their Tesla vehicle.
Although Drivyn’s focus is primarily on Tesla owners for the time being — as a majority of the autonomous vehicles currently on the market are Tesla models — Dr. Rabinowitz hopes to expand his company’s offerings as additional makes and models of self-driving cars are released and gain popularity in consumer markets. “At Drivyn,” Dr. Rabinowitz adds, “we believe that everyone should be able to have the safest autonomous vehicle experience possible, regardless of what make or model they drive.”
To help accomplish this, Drivyn has partnered with pre-existing driving schools and instructors to expand their curriculum to include autonomous vehicle instruction. Because these driving schools are already licensed to teach students in their respective states how to operate traditional vehicles, it’s simply a matter of finding the right instructors with the right combination of experience and passion for self-driving vehicles.
Having this sort of instruction for self-driving vehicles will ensure that Tesla owners can get the most out of their technologically advanced vehicle in the safest way possible. Self-driving cars are designed to make the road safer, but they can’t do so effectively without vehicle owners knowing how to use them properly. Drivyn is ahead of the curve in offering a curriculum specifically tailored to the needs of this new and evolving revolution..