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Tesla drivers using autopilot are inattentive, to literally no one ‘s surprise



Tesla drivers using autopilot are inattentive, to literally no one ‘s surprise


Because everything needs a study these days, MIT has published a study (thanks TechCrunch) that looks at Tesla’s driver assistance features to see if people are really paying attention to the road when in use.

The results are exactly as expected. From “290 human-initiated AP disconnect epochs,” drivers were found to pay less attention to the road when Tesla’s autopilot is on.

Essentially, the study found that “off-road glances” down and “in the middle” were longer and more frequent and that 22% of glances lasted more than two seconds.

This can be concerning because it is well documented that Tesla’s self-proclaimed autopilot and autonomous driving functions are misleadingly named and should be considered an aid to attentive drivers. That said, with names like that, it’s not surprising that some drivers rely on these assistive measures more than they should.

The National Transportation Safety Board even thinks Tesla needs to hit the brakes on all of its autonomous driving functions for now and instead focus on “basic safety issues” first.

Regardless, this MIT study is interesting, even if it’s not all that surprising.

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