Tesla owners in California may be interested to learn that the automaker's newly updated Autopilot feature might not be entirely safe. According to a recent review by Consumer Reports that was published on May 22, it's easier to drive manually than use the automated feature.
Researchers at the magazine tested Tesla's Navigate on Autopilot system, which was released in 2018 and updated in April, to see how it performed on the road. According to the report, not only did it perform worse than human drivers, but it also created new hazards in real-world situations. For example, the system offers an optional feature that allows the vehicle change lanes without confirmation from the driver. However, tests showed that it tended to cut off other vehicles. The system had particular difficulty sensing vehicles that were approaching rapidly from behind. It also attempted to pass vehicles in ways that broke state traffic laws. The problems forced some drivers to turn off the system for their own safety.
The Navigate on Autopilot feature is designed to make Tesla vehicles semi-automated by maintaining a car's speed and keeping it centered in its lane. However, at least three people have been killed by cars using the system. In response to the accidents, Tesla added a Lane Departure Avoidance feature. This requires operators to handle the steering wheel when changing lanes without a signal. The automaker also added Traffic Aware Cruise Control, which slows a vehicle down and activates hazard lights if drivers repeatedly fail to put their hands on the steering wheel.
Someone injured in a car accident caused by a negligent Tesla driver could file a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages. A Costa Mesa auto accident injury lawyer could represent the victim in court and fight to obtain the compensation they deserve. Possible damages paid out in a personal injury claim include pain and suffering, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and property loss.