Tesla drivers become less attentive after activating Autopilot, finds new study
Tesla's Autopilot feature has been under consistent scrutiny for some time now and a new study may reinstate the opinions of many who might think that the feature leads to less careful driving. The latest study based on MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology data showed that Tesla Autopilot leads to a significant dip in the driver's attention when activated.
Earlier a report by Electrek informed about MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology conducting a research on owners of Tesla Model S and Model X who drove their electric vehicles for over nearly 804672 km. The study was being led by Lex Fridman, informed the report. During the study, the EV drivers were recorded to understand how they interacted with automated driver-assist features provided by the EV maker's Autopilot feature. This data has been used to publish the new report known as the model for naturalistic glance behaviour around Tesla Autopilot disengagement.
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The observations of the study clearly showed that these drivers are prone to getting distracted and looking at things not concerning driving more frequently, and for a longer duration. The study specifically found that they looked at the centre screen more often. These observations are being highlighted as a problem as Tesla itself has said several times that its driver assisting technology is not a completely autonomous system and hence some amount of driving needs to be performed from the user's side. The study also found that after deactivating the Autopilot, drivers paid more attention on the road.
The Tesla Autopilot system has been under a scanner from US regulators who are investigating twelve crashes relating to the electric vehicle's Autopilot system. However, in the recently conducted Tesla AI Day, the EV major showcased improvements that it has incorporated in its Autopilot, saying that the company intends to make it safer for its users.