Pennsylvania residents may know that Tesla is one of the leading proponents of autonomous vehicle technology despite some setbacks. The company's Autopilot feature, which was introduced in 2018, has been linked to a series of deadly crashes. An update to the software released in April was said to have addressed many of its problems. However, recent tests of cars fitted with the latest version of Autopilot conducted by Consumer Reports magazine suggest that the system is still far from safe.
Autopilot uses cameras, radar and lidar to monitor road conditions. The technology is designed to be able to speed up, slow down and change lanes automatically, but Consumer Reports researchers say that it often performs these tasks in an unsafe manner. The results of the tests were published by the magazine on May 22. The researchers say that the system must be monitored closely when in use.
While Tesla has touted Autopilot as a major safety breakthrough, Consumer Reports testers liken the system to watching a child behind the wheel. The testers say the system has trouble dealing with vehicles that approach quickly from the rear, frequently cuts other cars off and applies the brakes forcefully and unexpectedly. Tesla dismissed the criticisms in a statement that claimed vehicles using the technology had covered millions of miles and performed countless lane changes.
A Tesla can provide motor vehicle accident investigators with valuable clues about what transpired in the seconds prior to a collision because the vehicle keeps detailed electronic records. These records sometimes even include audio recordings and video footage. Such information could also be valuable to personal injury attorneys seeking to hold negligent drivers financially responsible for their reckless behavior. This is why an attorney may call for a car that injured their client to be inspected.