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Tesla Drivers Become 'Inattentive' When Using Autopilot, Study Finds

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A driver at the wheel of a Tesla.

Despite the name, Tesla's FSD (full self-driving) Autopilot is merely a driver assist system and is far from being fully autonomous.

Credit: Tesla

Tesla may soon launch its latest FSD (full self-driving) Autopilot to a wide group of drivers, and US safety authorities aren't that happy about it. They have reason to be concerned, according to a new MIT study seen by TechCrunch. The researchers studied glance data and found that drivers become more inattentive when using Tesla's Autopilot system.  

"Visual behavior patterns change before and after [Autopilot] disengagement," according to the study. "Before disengagement, drivers looked less on road and focused more on non-driving related areas compared to after the transition to manual driving. The higher proportion of off-road glances before disengagement to manual driving were not compensated by longer glances ahead."

The fact that drivers may not pay as much attention to the road when using Autopilot is not exactly a shocker. What's new is that the researchers were able to see exactly where drivers were looking when the autopilot was engaged versus when it's disengaged.

From Engadget
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