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Wed May 22, 2019, 10:31 AM

Tesla's Navigate Is Worse Than Human Driving: Consumer Reports

Tesla's Navigate Is Worse Than Human Driving: Consumer Reports

Elizabeth Blackstock
Today 9:52am

Car buyers have shown that they’re ready to embrace autonomous cars—but are automakers actually equipped to meet that demand? A new Consumer Reports article evaluating the viability of Tesla’s Autopilot software says that we’re... not quite there yet.

Tesla recently updated its Autopilot software to include Navigate, a program that uses the car’s software to calculate lane changes on the highway without any driver input. It is an important step forward in the development of full autonomy, except it doesn’t work quite the way Tesla had planned, according to CR. ... The magazine was really not impressed. From the article:

In practice, we found that Navigate on Autopilot lagged far behind a human driver’s skill set: The feature cut off cars without leaving enough space and even passed other cars in ways that violate state laws, according to several law enforcement representatives CR interviewed for this report. As a result, the driver often had to prevent the system from making poor decisions.

“The system’s role should be to help the driver, but the way this technology is deployed, it’s the other way around,” says Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ senior director of auto testing. “It’s incredibly nearsighted. It doesn’t appear to react to brake lights or turn signals, it can’t anticipate what other drivers will do, and as a result, you constantly have to be one step ahead of it.”

Drivers at CR who tested Navigate found that their Tesla was prone to making unsafe lane change maneuvers that a human would likely avoid—the car would pass on the right, for example, or cut in front of a car traveling at a much higher speed. ... The system functions fine when it comes to the very basic principles of changing lanes, but it lacks the advanced situational awareness that humans have when it comes to making decisions based on, say, state laws or road etiquette, CR found.

The whole article is worth your time, but if you want the quick and dirty verdict, here’s a quote from David Friedman, vice president of advocacy at Consumer Reports:

Tesla is showing what not to do on the path toward self-driving cars: release increasingly automated driving systems that aren’t vetted properly. Before selling these systems, automakers should be required to give the public validated evidence of that system’s safety—backed by rigorous simulations, track testing, and the use of safety drivers in real-world conditions.


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Reply Tesla's Navigate Is Worse Than Human Driving: Consumer Reports (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves May 2019 OP
RKP5637 May 2019 #1
The Velveteen Ocelot May 2019 #2

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2019, 10:39 AM

1. Hmmmm ... insurance rates should be interesting. n/t

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2019, 10:40 AM

2. Designers of automated systems for cars should take a hard look

at the design processes for aircraft automation, which has been around for quite a while now - and especially at what can go terribly wrong, as Boeing is finding out.

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