Tesla drivers that use Autopilot are inattentive – to the surprise of literally no one
In other news, the sky is blue.
Because everything needs a study these days, MIT has released a study (thanks, TechCrunch) that looks at Tesla’s driver-assist features to see if people are actually paying attention to the road when in use.
The results are exactly what you’d expect. From “290 human initiated AP disengagement epochs”, it was found that drivers pay less attention to the road when Tesla’s Autopilot is engaged.
Essentially, the study found that “off-road glances” downwards and “towards the center” were longer and more frequent and that 22% of the glances were for longer than two seconds.
This can be concerning because it’s been well-documented that Tesla’s self-proclaimed Autopilot and full self-driving features are deceptively named and should be considered an aid for attentive drivers. That said, with names like that, it’s not surprising that some drivers may rely on these assistive measures more than they should.
The National Transportation Safety Board even thinks Tesla needs to pump the brakes on its full self-driving features for now and instead focus on “basic safety issues” first.
Regardless, this study from MIT is an interesting one, even if it isn’t all that surprising.
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