As reported by The Verge: Tesla today rolled out a next-generation version of its autonomous driving hardware suite, which the company says the tech should be able to autonomously drive a Tesla from LA to New York, dropping a rider off in Times Square and then going to park itself.
But, before Teslas can start driving autonomously, the company needs to collect a lot of data to prove to customers (and regulators) that the technology is safe and reliable. So, the car will run Autopilot in “shadow mode” in order for Tesla to gather statistical data to show false positives and false negatives of the software. In shadow mode, the car isn’t taking any action, but it registers when it would have taken action. Then, if the Tesla is in an accident, the company can see if the autonomous mode would have avoided the accident (or the other way around, with the self-driving system potentially causing an accident).