Get your mohawks ready.
Telsa Inc. (TSLA) - Get Report CEO Elon Musk revealed a new Autopilot setting for the company's Tesla Semi called Mad Max mode. Musk tweeted an image on Sunday, June 24, of the self-driving options showing the movie-inspired mode under "Blind Spot Threshold" next to Normal and Aggressive.
The display shown is a developer view of the Autopilot options, which means the new mode is not available yet for Tesla vehicles.
Blind Spot Threshold refers to how much distance is allowed between the vehicle and cars in other lanes. Increasing the aggression setting means the truck will switch lanes with a minimal amount of space.
Truck drivers are likely familiar with the need to be a bit combative when out on the road, while still driving safely.
"To get aggressive and try to get in, you have to time it perfectly so you don't have any issues," said Mark Gonzalez CEO and owner of San Antonio, Tex.-based GreyWolf Transportation, LLC. "It's about a 150-yard span for a truck to go over to another lane, and you're going to check your mirror about 10 times. Then you have the problem [when] a driver in the other lane you're trying to get over to will increase their speed and not let you in."
This is one of the reasons why there is an "aggressive option" in Autopilot so the self-driving vehicle can change lanes even with other drivers not allowing the vehicle in.
"Reality is that it will be pretty easy to bully a self-driving car, as it will always yield," Musk tweeted later on Sunday. "Will prob have a manual override that requires continuous press for hardcore lane changes."
Gonzalez says the problem with a self-driving truck being aggressive is the behavior of the other drivers. One car on the highway hitting the brakes too quickly can cause a chain reaction leading to an accident, but Gonzalez said he understands why the mode be necessary.
"I think a Mad Max mode would be OK because you don't want to get stuck behind cars and unable to move lanes," he said.