It might still take a really long time for companies to reach a point where autopiloting a car won’t require 95% of your attention to work. See what Consumer Reports have to say regarding Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot mode.
Consumer Reports have given their judgment: Tesla’s new autopilot does not help and actually needs help from drivers.
Here’s what Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ senior director of auto testing said in an email when commenting on Tesla’s autopilot technology, “The system’s role should be to help the driver, but the way this technology is deployed it’s the other way around.”
There are several modes of Autopilot in Tesla and in its ordinary mode, the car does a pretty good job of staying in lane and maintaining a good distance with other cars. But once it enters Navigate on Autopilot mode, the car becomes “incredibly nearsighted”.
One of the issues is “it doesn’t appear to react to brake lights or turn signals, it can’t anticipate what other drivers will do.” This is obviously dangerous as other drivers would expect you to react to their signals. This keeps drivers attention on the road, essentially losing the whole purpose of putting it on Navigate mode.
The autopilot also causes the car to pass by other cars in ways that violate the law. It also can only be used in selected highways with no intersections and require a lot of sensors and cameras to work. Drivers can choose when to cancel the lane changing and revert back to manual mode when they want to.
Tesla has been criticized by Consumer Reports due to the lack of warning from the system to drivers when using the driver assistance system in the past. This just adds into more warnings for Tesla to ensure drivers’ safety above the fanciness of their technology.
David Friedman, vice president of advocacy at Consumer Reports statement can conclude that “the Navigate on Autopilot driver-assist feature overpromises and under-delivers, with lives on the line.” They may be able to learn from GM from their highest ranking of a safe driver assistance system.