Tesla is well-known for its self-driving technology, which started with Autopilot and expanded to Full-Self Driving. However, Autopilot and Full-Self Driving have misleading names. For both technologies, the driver’s attention is still required.
Although Tesla’s self-driving technology used to be cutting-edge, Autopilot now lags behind its competitors. In fact, Ford’s self-driving technology (pictured above) is considered the best in the industry, according to a new study from Consumer Reports (CR).
Self-driving technology, which offers enhanced adaptive cruise control and lane-centering technology, has gained popularity. Self-driving systems are now available on more than half of 2023 model year cars, as reported by TheStreet.
Ford’s BlueCruise system, while not yet capable of fully self-driving, provides a collaborative driving experience that promotes relaxation.
Collaborative steering is an essential component of safe autonomous driving. Collaborative steering refers to steering systems in which the driver shares steering responsibility with computer software. This protects drivers from becoming overconfident in self-driving technology.
Out of the 17 systems tested, Tesla’s Autopilot ranked near the middle. According to Jake Fisher, CR’s senior director of auto testing, Autopilot’s lack of collaborative steering was a major reason for this lower score.
Another reason why Autopilot fared poorly is its less advanced driver monitoring technology.
Ford’s BlueCruise, along with General Motors’s Super Cruise, uses infrared cameras to ensure the driver’s attention remains on the road. The system alerts the driver if their attention wavers and gradually slows the car down if the driver fails to refocus on the road.
By contrast, Tesla Autopilot can only sense the driver’s pull or lack of pull on the steering wheel. It can’t read drivers’ faces.
CR gave Ford’s BlueCruise an overall rating of 84, with slight deductions for usability. General Motors’s Super Cruise ranked second with a score of 75.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s Autopilot was well down the list, getting a score of only 61. Autopilot ranked eighth out of 17 self-driving systems. Autopilot garnered a high score for performance but lower scores in terms of safety and driver engagement.
Autopilot’s safety shortcomings have caught the attention of federal regulators. On Monday, the Department of Justice asked Tesla to disclose more information about Autopilot and Full Self-Driving as part of an ongoing federal investigation.
Image Source: Sawyer Merritt, https://shorturl.at/bEV19