Tesla Autopilot in the seventh category of driver assistance systems; Ford quietly took the lead

Those considering buying a Tesla model because of its Autopilot or fully automated driving system may change their minds after a new report from Consumer Reports. This consumer protection organization has just released a ranking of 15 advanced driver assistance systems, with Tesla’s Autopilot in seventh place. The first place belongs to the Blue Cruise system of Ford.

In this ranking, Tesla is also behind General Motors’ Super Cruise, Mercedes-Benz Driver Assistance, BMW’s Driving Assistance Professional, Toyota’s Safety Sense 3.0, and Volkswagen’s Travel Assist. Rivian, Nissan, Honda, Volvo and Hyundai offer weaker systems than Tesla.

One of the important elements of Blue Cruise and Super Cruise is the use of direct driver monitoring systems. This makes the driver more involved in driving than any other software. Consumer Reports says direct driver monitoring systems are important to prevent over-reliance on the driver assistance system, which has been cited as a critical element in the majority of fatal crashes involving these systems.

The direct driver monitoring system aims two infrared cameras at the driver’s face. If he looks somewhere other than the road, the driver assistance system warns the person behind the wheel to pay attention to the road. If the driver does not do this, the system starts to slow down the car.

Staging with Tesla Autopilot

Driver monitoring requires a careful study of the driver’s reaction time, a term the Autopilot maker said it does not understand. Ashok Al-Usami also stated that the 2016 Autopilot video that claimed the car was driving itself was staged, something the New York Times predicted in 2021.

This testimony was given under oath during Tesla’s trial in the case of his wife Walter Huang’s lawsuit against the company. Huang was involved in one of the first known fatal crashes involving Autopilot.

Given that all car manufacturers that use driver assistance systems are required to report such cases to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Currently, there have been 26 accidents, one of which happened in China and caused a lot of controversy.

Gao Yanning died on January 20, 2016, a few months before Joshua Brown, who was believed to be the first person killed in a crash involving Tesla’s Autopilot.

Bloomberg recently revealed that Elon Musk commissioned the video. Although he told his engineers that the film only demonstrated the software potential of Autopilot. But ultimately he said the video should look like one continuous take.

He also said in the disclaimer of this video: “The person in the driver’s seat is only sitting there for legal reasons. He does nothing. The car drives itself.

According to Consumer Reports, one of the reasons why Tesla has fallen so far in its ranking is the lack of changes in this system by the manufacturer since its initial release.

Instead, Tesla just added more features, but still no direct driver monitoring.

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