So Calling It “Autopilot” Seems to Be Marketing Nonsense

But then what did we expect? Car assistance systems only boost safety if drivers pay attention, tests find.

During the test drive, Autopilot generally performed well on a busy stretch of New Jersey highway, but the car nearly drove into another when two lanes merged together.

“Not quite a perfect system. The car was not aware that there was another car that was about to steer into us,” Stevens said.

The net safety benefit isn’t clear. If it mostly encourages drivers to not pay attention, then they might not be paying attention at a crucial moment.

On the magazine’s test track, Fisher demonstrated how Tesla’s Autopilot struggled to navigate turns when the road lines faded and relied on the driver to hit the brakes as the car approached the end of the track. He said Autopilot can’t monitor how the technology is used or a driver’s attention to the road.

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