Tesla drivers become ‘inattentive’ when using autopilot, study finds | Engadget

Tesla may soon introduce its latest FSD (full self-driving) autopilot to a wide range of drivers, and US safety authorities are not so happy about it. According to a new MIT study, they have cause for concern TechCrunch. The researchers studied tinplate data and found that drivers become more inattentive when using Tesla’s Autopilot system.

‘Visual behavior patterns change before and after [Autopilot] non-involvement, ā€¯according to the study. ‘Before the decoupling, drivers looked less down the road and focused more on areas not being managed compared to the transition to manual driving. The greater part of the off-road racing before you drive by hand is not compensated by a long gaze ahead.

Visual behavior patterns change before and after disconnecting AP. Prior to the disconnection, drivers looked less down the road and focused more on areas not related to driving, compared to after the transition to manual driving. The greater part of the off-road tins before you drive by hand is not compensated by a long look ahead.

The fact that drivers may not pay as much attention to the road as they use Autopilot is not exactly a shock. What’s new is that the researchers were able to see exactly where drivers were looking when the autopilot was turned on while it was disengaged.

Off-road cans were directed downwards and in the direction of the middle stacking area, so that it was “presumably non-driving related”. Looking in these directions is rather related to activities such as looking down at a smartphone or communicating with the middle stack infotainment touch screen. According to the newspaper, it was usually longer when the autopilot was engaged and was much more frequent than off-road racing in hand.

Despite the name, Tesla’s FSD (full self-driving) autopilot is only a driver assistance system and is far from completely autonomous. As such, it requires drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and remain fully alert, but Tesla does not use cameras or other means to monitor the alert section.

The latest version, 10.0.1, presumably makes more confident decisions along the way, but has so far introduced only a relatively small group of beta testers. However, Tesla plans to extend it more widely from September 24, and may release it to all Autopilot FSD EVs, pending a seven-day trial period that will follow the behavior of owners.

However, the new version could insult Tesla against US regulators. Jennifer Homendy, head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), recently said that Tesla should not announce the latest software update before it can address ‘basic safety issues’. She was also not excited about upgrading Tesla in the public streets.

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