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Consumer Reports urges Tesla to disable Autosteer, eliminate public beta testing

By Shawn Knight · 12 replies
Jul 15, 2016
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  1. Consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports has urged Tesla to rethink its Autopilot feature in the wake of multiple accidents – and one fatality – that occurred while the feature was engaged.

    Laura MacCleery, vice president of consumer policy and mobilization for Consumer Reports, says that by marketing the feature as “Autopilot,” they’re giving consumers a false sense of security. While advanced active safety technologies in vehicles could one day make our roads safer, MacCleery said they’re deeply concerned that consumers are being sold a pile of promises about unproven technology today.

    Consumer Reports has called on Tesla to disable its Autosteer function until it can be overhauled to require drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel. What’s more, the advocacy group believes Tesla should stop referring to the system as Autopilot and issue clearer guidelines to owners on how the feature should be used and its limitations.

    What’s more, Consumer Reports wants Tesla to fully test all safety-critical systems before they get deployed to the public, thus eliminating public betas.

    In Tesla’s response, the company said it is constantly introducing enhancements that have been proven over millions of miles of internal testing to ensure driver safety, adding that it’ll continue to develop, validate and release enhancements as the underlying technologies grow.

    Tesla concluded that while it appreciates well-meaning advice from any individual or group, they make their decisions on the basis of real-world data, not speculation from the media.

    Image courtesy Spencer Platt, Getty Images

    Permalink to story.

  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 2,231   +422

    Wait until version is out - and ALL the bugs are fixed. Uh, right...
    Reehahs and EndlessWaves like this.
  3. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,414   +341

    "Laura MacCleery, vice president of consumer policy and mobilization for Consumer Reports, says that by marketing the feature as “Autopilot,” they’re giving consumers a false sense of security"

    Considering TESLA and Musk have said multiple times that Autopilot isn't perfect and you SHOULD keep both hands on the wheel at all times incase autopilot tries to go somewhere it shouldn't... its like trying to stop selling medicine because they might overdose...
    thewind, Reehahs and ikesmasher like this.
  4. anguis

    anguis TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +12

    Where's the Consumer Reports recommendation to disable cruise control? How many accidents have happened while cruise control is engaged? The driver is responsible for driving. End of story.
    thewind likes this.
  5. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 990   +403

    Never let common sense get in the way of (to Tesla) good advertising (although misleading to us) and Tesla profit
  6. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 555   +510

    Tesla should have known better then to name it autopilot. The general public thinks autopilot means autonomous, and they WILL ignore the warnings and give your company a bad name. If they had called it intelligent driver assistance or something similar, there would be no controversy.

    Tesla should also have known better then to release a beta feature to cars on the open road. A two ton steel death machine traveling 70+MPH on a public road is not the place to iron out the bugs in your software. You dont see the big automakers doing this. They have extensive in house tests and test tracks, and for good reason.
  7. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 527   +223

    Honestly, I don't think they should disable it, but I do think they should rebrand it. Something like "Highway Assist", or "Co-pilot". Make it more clear that you still need to be alert and in control of your vehicle (as still required by law).
  8. amstech

    amstech TS Evangelist Posts: 1,584   +781

    Telsa is a princess that cannot be bargained with.
    Their tech is not that great and they are a LONG TIME from true autopilot.
    As in, decades.
    Todays tech, even the best built most advanced portions are not even close to being ready.
    Telsa thinks they are a step ahead, they aren't.
  9. bob333

    bob333 TS Enthusiast Posts: 50   +11

    Let's say your car is on Autopilot and both of your hands are on the wheel, How and When will you know that your car is gonna misbehave? It's like watching the road constantly while someone else drives your car, what is the point of Autopilot then?

    They must further test the Autopilot feature before releasing it to the public.
    DAOWAce likes this.
  10. gazelem37

    gazelem37 TS Rookie

    Where are you getting your information? Volvo is coming out with a public pilot program next year. Ford says their tech is far superior than anything else and is full level 4 autonomy (No driver intervention needed). It will be out in less than 5 years and you're talking about decades?
  11. MannerMauler

    MannerMauler TS Addict Posts: 133   +27

    Fixed the links.
  12. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TS Evangelist Posts: 348   +124

    I think in a less PC world, CR would be saying; For god's sake man! disable the autosteer because people are too fuxing stupid to use it properly..
  13. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Maniac Posts: 310   +145

    It will take a simple patch to ensure that if the steering wheel let go then the feature is stopped with loud and blaring warning.

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