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Technology Despite warnings from Tesla, Autopilot drivers still aren't paying enough attention, study finds

01:12  25 september  2020
01:12  25 september  2020 Source:   cnn.com

Tesla’s ‘Full Self-Driving’ beta is here, and it looks scary as hell

  Tesla’s ‘Full Self-Driving’ beta is here, and it looks scary as hell ‘Using untrained consumers to validate beta-level software on public roads is dangerous’Frankly, this looks terrifying — not because it seems erratic or malfunctioning, but because of the way it will inevitably be misused.

The Tesla driver who made history as the first man to die at the wheel of a semi-autonomous vehicle was not distracted by a movie while driving . Car gave multiple warnings before crash. According to the NTSB report, Autopilot , Tesla ’s semi-autonomous system, was on for the majority of the trip

It still stopped, which is good! But what happened is Autopilot helped a driver who possibly wasn’ t paying attention —one who probably would’ve The Autopilot system here helped avoid a crash, but the Autopilot system also requires the driver to be alert and take the wheel at any given moment.

A day before a surprising admission from Tesla CEO Elon Musk this week concerning the company's prototype autonomous driving system, MIT researchers released a study that found that Tesla drivers are more distracted when they use the company's semi-autonomous Autopilot that is in Teslas now.

Elon Musk standing in front of a building © Tesla

The findings support calls for the automaker to take more steps to keep drivers attentive, for their own safety, the researchers said.

study reveals new problem with Tesla's autopilot on

 study reveals new problem with Tesla's autopilot on Tesla is very aggressively promoting its "autopilot". But researchers have now discovered that it can be manipulated very easily - with potentially serious consequences. © Provided by Finanz.net DANIEL ROLAND / AFP / Getty Images • Tesla's autopilot can be fooled • Fully autonomous driving is a long time coming • Reprogramming of Tesla's autopilot system In Germany, Tesla was legally banned from Use the term "autopilot" to advertise its vehicles .

A recent lawsuit filed against Tesla made an excellent case for why human-controlled driving is still exceedingly important, but it turns out Tesla itself seemed to But the fact that Tesla ’s engineers were testing scenarios for when drivers wouldn’ t pay attention while using Autopilot itself says enough .

An overhaul to Tesla 's Autopilot webpage might represent the clearest acknowledgment yet that the company has failed to deliver on Elon Musk's ambitious vision for a self- driving future. In other words, despite Musk's bluster over the years, Autopilot is still just a driver -assistance system.

Tesla Autopilot technology is designed to steer the car, stay in its lane and keep up with traffic on divided roads like highways. But Tesla acknowledges the software is imperfect and says that drivers should be prepared to take control of the vehicle at any time. Drivers are supposed to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, according to owner's manuals.

But despite the warnings from the company, the study found that drivers glanced more frequently away from the road, and thus paid less attention, when Autopilot was active. The MIT researchers also found that 33% of Tesla drivers did not have their hands on the wheel prior to taking control of the car from Autopilot.

"We put the research out there for people to start pondering about, 'Wait a second, what's going on here?'" said Bryan Reimer, associated director of the New England University Transportation Center at MIT.

Tesla’s ‘Full Self-Driving’ software is starting to roll out to select customers

  Tesla’s ‘Full Self-Driving’ software is starting to roll out to select customers A beta version of Tesla’s partially automated driver assist system is available, but not to everyoneOnly those customers in Tesla’s Early Access Program will receive the software update, that will enable drivers to access Autopilot’s partially automated driver assist system on city streets. The early access program is used as a testing platform to help iron out software bugs.

In this review of a study on self- driving system crashes, Consumer Reports says enough details are Driver -assist systems that can keep pace with the traffic flow and keep a car centered in its lane are Only Cadillac's Super Cruise has a driver -facing camera that will issue warnings if the driver

MIT did a major study on Autopilot . They studied data from over 323,000 miles of driving . They found that Autopilot was disengaged almost 19,000 times. And those people who are bad drivers would be worse off without Autopilot because they still wouldn’ t pay enough attention to the road.

Tesla did not respond to requests for comment on the study.

At Tesla's "Battery Day" and annual shareholder meeting this past Tuesday, Musk also said that in recent years the company undertook a fundamental rewrite of the company's Autopilot software.

"The improvements kind of started tailing off, and just not getting where they need to be," Musk said.

Musk has previously announced ambitious goals for the full self-driving system, such as a Tesla driving itself across the country in 2017, but they have fallen short. He's also said that he expects Tesla would have robotaxis and a million self-driving on roads this year, though just over three months remain in 2020.

With slow progress, Tesla owners have had to stay attentive behind the wheel -- and have grabbed headlines when they haven't done so.

Autopilot, which Tesla describes as a semi-autonomous safety feature, has already been cited as a factor in multiple high-profile deaths.

Tesla's Model 3 under investigation in South Korean safety probe

  Tesla's Model 3 under investigation in South Korean safety probe South Korea has launched a safety probe into Tesla, focusing on braking and steering systems including Autopilot, according to Reuters. The transport ministry is specifically looking at the the Model 3 in an investigation that could take from six months to a year. The news casts a bit of a shadow on Tesla’s huge sales surge in the nation, spurred on by the Model 3. Tesla has an excellent safety record overall, but the autopilot system has drawn criticism from the the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). More recently, Tesla’s Autopilot marketing was decried as “misleading” by Korea’s Fair Trade Commission.

Tesla changes its software after Autopilot -related crashes. Previous versions of the software allowed drivers to take their hands off the wheel for one to two minutes before The new update dramatically shortens this interval, with videos showing warnings popping up after around 30 seconds.

Tesla 's autopilot breaks the rules AGAIN: Model Tesla says it is still in test mode and full 'hands-off' driving is not advised. Update was rolled out last Automatic Emergency Steering and Side Collision Warning : Side Collision Warning alerts drivers to objects, such as cars, that are too close to the side

Walter Huang had a game active on his smartphone when his Tesla Model X crashed into a highway barrier in Mountain View, California, in March 2018. Huang was relying on Autopilot and did not brake or steer away from the barrier. The National Transportation Safety Board investigated and called for Tesla to develop a better way to sense if drivers are distracted. The NTSB reiterated recommendations that it first made in September 2017 when Joshua Brown died after his Tesla crashed into a tractor-trailer while Autopilot was active.

The NTSB, which investigates crashes and advocates for safety improvements, has also criticized the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which regulates motor vehicles, for failing to regulate partial autonomy systems like Tesla's Autopilot. Following the Huang investigation, NHTSA said it was reviewing the findings and that distracted driving is a major concern.

NHTSA said in a statement Thursday that it's aware of the MIT study and is reviewing it.

"The most advanced vehicle technologies available to consumers today provide driver assistance and require a fully attentive human driver at all times performing the driving task and monitoring the surrounding environment," NHTSA said. "Abusing these technologies is, at a minimum, distracted driving."

The T in the Tesla logo does not stand for the brand name - that's actually behind it

 The T in the Tesla logo does not stand for the brand name - that's actually behind it © Provided by Business Insider Germany Tesla Logo Store Humphery / Shutterstock Elon Musk is always happy to provide new surprises - even with the explanation What the logo of his well-known electric car brand actually stands for, he ensures a real "Aha" moment for all Tesla fans.

Tesla drivers using Autopilot have a much lower likelihood of accident. There are also plenty of Since Tesla collects data on drivers and their habits, perhaps programming the car to sense when a Similar to Waymo, NASA has found that when the system is so good there’s almost no interaction

Tesla says it is still in test mode and full 'hands-off' driving is not advised. A Tesla Model S driver has crashed into the back of a van while the car's autopilot , active cruise control and Automatic Emergency Steering and Side Collision Warning : Side Collision Warning alerts drivers to objects

Tesla releases quarterly safety reports that compare accident rates with Autopilot active to when the technology is not used. Tesla says that accident rates are much lower with Autopilot active. But Tesla's reports do not detail what it defines as an accident, or on what roads Autopilot is used. Crash rates may already be lower on the roads where Autopilot is used most frequently.

Musk said earlier this week that the company is confident the probability of crashes with Autopilot can improve eventually to 10 times the industry average. Musk also said that Tesla will hopefully release a private beta of the full self-driving version of Autopilot in a month or so.

"People will really understand the magnitude of the change. It's profound," Musk said. "It's a hell of a step change."

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Canadian authorities said that the driver of Tesla Model S appeared to be asleep in a reclined seat, and that the vehicle appeared to be driving itself when it accelerated to 93 mph when they initially attempted to pull it over.

Tesla monitors driver alertness through torque on the steering wheel. But drivers may be able to give the appearance of alertness by resting an object on the steering wheel. Tesla competitor GM has opted to use a camera and eye-tracking technology to determine if users of its comparable Super Cruise software stay alert.

Tesla has promised improvements to Autopilot, but the company has not announced plans for more driver monitoring measures.

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