Tesla's Autopilot creates dangerous drivers, study shows

Should we be surprised?

17w ago

Tesla's Autopilot system is probably the most controversial tech upgrade in any car at the moment. When it was first introduced back in 2014 it divided the internet, but now it's becoming more popular and is being accepted in more places, which in turn, has created more dangerous drivers.

A study done by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shows that these autopilot systems, especially Teslas, created worse drivers.

This study analysed 290 instances of drivers disengaging Autopilot and switching to manual control of the vehicle. It showed that drivers took their eyes off the road for longer when Autopilot was in operation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that drivers should not look away from the road for more than two seconds, yet the study indicated that non-driving glances sometimes exceeded five seconds.

It comes as no surprise to us because many people see Tesla's autopilot system as a way to switch off and let the car do all the work. However, this shouldn't be the case and the driver must remain aware at all times and should easily be able to intervene if need be.

It probably doesn't help that modern cars use such large touch screens nowadays which means taking your eyes off the road is needed in order to change the radio station or adjust the air conditioning.

So, we can't put all the blame on Tesla because many car makers use large screens, but this autopilot malarkey sure isn't helping.

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Comments (33)

  • Autonomous vehicles are stupid. Just take public transportation, and if you can't, just carpool with someone or use a taxi or ride share service.

      4 months ago
    • Pending on how well the public transport infrastructure is for that place

        4 months ago
    • I think that autonomous vehicles are not for transportation. They are for bragging right in a pub over a pint!

        4 months ago
  • They shouldn’t be called Autopilot to start with. That creates unrealistic expectations clearly.

      4 months ago
  • If you don't want to drive a car, don't buy a car. It's not that difficult now, is it?

      4 months ago
  • I think systems that seem to be more reliable so far (super cruise) are great and should be allowed. Maybe it's just because there are more Tesla's with autopilot than GM vehicles with super cruise (not based on facts) but autopilot seems to be rushed and the bugs not fully fixed. I know you'll normally get that on new tech stuff but for some people it's the difference between life and death. I think human life is worth a bit more than having the first "autopilot" system. Maybe it's just me.

      4 months ago
  • All of these so called driver aids are making dangerous drivers. You’re giving people more opportunity to not pay attention to what they’re doing…driving a car.

      4 months ago