Car drivers with partial autopilot admitted that they were often completely distracted from the road

Car drivers with partial autopilot admitted that they were often completely distracted from the road

In the United States, drivers with advanced driver assistance systems, such as Tesla Autopilot or GM Super Cruise, often use their vehicles as if they had a full autopilot that did not require human attention, as shown by a study conducted by the Road Safety Insurance Institute.

This is a structure funded by auto manufacturers and, among other things, conducting research to improve vehicle safety. According to the data published on Tuesday, the IIHS study found many facts that average statistical owners of vehicles with activated Tesla Autopilot, GM Super Cruise and Nissan ProPILOT Associate are more likely to be driven by drivers, such as eating or text messages, under activated help systems than with disabled helpers.

Some 600 active users participated in the IIHS survey. As a result, 53% of the drivers equipped with Super Cruise, 42% with Autopot, and 12% with ProPILOT Associate stated that they felt quite confident about handling cars as if they were equipped with a full autopilot. According to the IIHS representative, drivers still did not understand the limits of technology.

The study was carried out because the U.S. National Highway Administration began to investigate thoroughly accidents involving vehicles with activated autopilots. Since 2016 NHTSA has opened 37 special investigations into 18 fatal incidents involving the use of Tesla electric vehicles, in cases where the use of systems such as Autopilot is suspected.

Tesla does not comment on the new data. It is known that Autopilot does not make the vehicles fully autonomous and is intended to be used only when the driver is closely following the road and is ready to take over.

In August, General Motors announced that car owners with Super Cruise could use a system on 643700 km of North American roads and would be supported by 22 models by the end of 2023.

IIHS has already stated that Super Cruise's ads emphasize the ability to drive "without hands" and Autopilot's name refers to autopilots in airplanes and "implicit that Tesla is more advanced than it really is." The institute emphasizes that ProPILOT Associate, on the contrary, only provides a driver's support function that is not a replacement for the driver. In any event, NHTSA states that none of the systems makes the vehicles fully autonomous.