Tesla Autopilot is sometimes misunderstood by critics, and by extension, the general public. Consumer Reports (CR) recently tested active driving-assistance systems from various manufacturers. The results, though, only confirmed the agency's knowledge gap when it comes to high-tech applications, such as Autopilot.
Tesla Autopilot is a suite of advanced driver-assistance system features offered by Tesla, which includes lane centering, traffic-aware cruise control, self-parking, automatic lane changes, semi-autonomous navigation on limited-access freeways, and the ability to summon the car from a garage or parking spot.
The list of capabilities shows that Tesla's Autopilot is much more advanced than any other existing system. However, as can be understood from the results, the CR study was not really aimed at determining the best active driver-assistance system.
CR stated that their testers looked at the way each of the 17 car systems performed in five specific categories: capability and performance, keeping the driver engaged, ease of use, clear when safe to use, and unresponsive driver. As you can see from the list, much attention was paid not to testing the assistance systems, but rather to its ability to keep the driver's attention on the road. Of course, this is very important, but it cannot become a criterion for evaluating active driver assistance systems. Therefore, we should all look at the results of this study, including this critical point.
In the most important category, which is the only one that should determine the real capabilities of active driver-assistance systems--Capabilities and Performance--Tesla Autopilot took first place.
It should also be noted that there is a remark to the CR winner - the Cadillac Super Cruise - which should raise serious doubts about its victory. Cadillac uses laser-radar (Lidar) maps, which means that the car can only determine its location while they are up to date. In fact, if the terrain is unfamiliar to the system, then it will not be able to provide assistance, which casts doubt on its viability. Importantly, Super Cruise will not become available to the driver if the highway being used is not in compliance with the regulations--for instance, due to construction--let alone if the car ends up in an unfamiliar area.
On the other hand, with Tesla Autopilot, the system has the advanced ability to learn on the fly and adapt to any driving situation, exchanging data with the entire fleet of Tesla vehicles. When considering a car with a driver-assistance system, you want advanced, with a safety record that speaks for itself. And that's what makes Autopilot the premier, most high-tech choice.
© 2020, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.