Consumer Reports Explores Tesla Autopilot – Video

2 years ago by Mark Kane 21

Tesla Autopilot - Autosteer

Tesla Autopilot – Autosteer

Consumer Reports Selects Tesla Model S as "Best Overall" For Two Years In a Row

Consumer Reports – Tesla Model S is “Best Overall”

Consumer Reports recently explored the Autopilot feature of its highest valuated car ever tested (but not recommended) – Tesla Model S.

The discussion focuses on how it works and how it’s marketed.

Consumer Reports, like many other Model S owners, bought the $2,500 Autopilot option with just a promise of the system at some point in the future and now it’s available in Beta stage.

The Autopilot is not a self-driving car – Model S will remind you to put hands on the wheel, checking it about every 2.5 minutes. Whole responsibility is on the driver, who could use the Autosteer on roads (or in a way) he/she shouldn’t.

Consumer Reports notes that there is a temptation to start the Autopilot and use the touchscreen or phone, whatever, while other carmakers that are introducing safety features and drive assist are more restricted (in terms of speed range, time between checks that hands are on the wheel, use of touchscreen while driving). Most other automakers wouldn’t introduce a Beta system.

Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #81: Tesla Autopilot
Jake and Tom hit the highway in our Tesla Model S P85D to discuss its Autopilot system, which can steer the car and keep it within its lane on its own. There are some advantages to the system, especially on long highway trips and in stop-and-go traffic, but this beta-level system is still working out some bugs. We also talk about the temptations posed by the technology, both for increasing distracted driving and for using it on roads where it is far from optimized. Finally, we contrast Tesla owners’ willingness to purchase and try out this system, compared to the difficulty typical car buyers have in understanding the value of advanced safety systems like forward collision warning and autobraking.”

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21 responses to "Consumer Reports Explores Tesla Autopilot – Video"

  1. vdiv says:

    Just a reminder that the optional Autopilot feature is considered a convenience one as indicated by Tesla. The safety collision avoidance features such as automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning using the sensor array are standard on all Model S (and X) vehicles built for the past year.

  2. Scott says:

    It’s by far the best, most advanced system in existence…but we’re going to tear it apart and just lump it in with other vehicles that have any type of auto-braking.” These guys lost even more respect from me. Semantics about the name aside, Tesla’s autopilot (even as a beta) is awesome!

    1. DrGuest says:

      Let me help you with how Tesla’s Autopilot can help with safety. I had breakfast with a autopilot owner that was hit by a large deer in upper state New York. The deer antler came thru the driver side window shattering his arms and chest neck and face with glass. Did her swerve? Did he enter on coming traffic? Did he over correct and leave the highway? Did he get in a head on collision? No, he didn’t, stayed in the lane and pulled over when the shock of it all faded enough to safely pullover? He credits Tesla Autopilot for preventing a hazardous situation while responding to an exploding window and deer antler in your face. How about someone that is drunk or falls asleep at the wheel if even just a second, the autopilot can provide a layer of safety in those situations. No mention of the high detail digital mapping the beta edition is helping to fill in.

  3. Alaa says:

    The most boring YouTube that demonstrates the autopilot.

  4. Kalle says:

    The term autopilot is used by tesla just because it is not an autonomous car.
    It works very simular to an aoutopilote on an aircraft were the pilot is responsible at all times. So i dont cheare their view on the name beeing uset to make it sound like it does more.

    1. Anon says:

      Context seems to be an elusive thing for them…

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Kalle said:

      “The term autopilot is used by tesla just because it is not an autonomous car.
      It works very simular to an aoutopilote on an aircraft were the pilot is responsible at all times.”

      It works very little like an actual airplane autopilot. Modern autopilots can climb, descend, and fly the plane entirely automatically at cruising altitude. The pilot can set the autopilot and (more or less) safely leave the cockpit, leaving the autopilot to fly the plane.

      Contrariwise, Tesla Autopilot certainly can not drive the car safely without being constantly monitored by an alert driver.

      Google’s self-driving cars are capable of truly autonomous driving. In fact, in newer prototypes, there isn’t a driver, nor does the car have a steering wheel. There’s just a passenger to monitor the system.

      Tesla’s Autopilot is certainly more advanced set of driver assist features than that offered by any other auto maker, but it’s rather far from an actual functioning “autopilot”.

      1. Ryan says:

        Crudely speaking, I think the systems are comparable. Think of leaving your destination and getting on the highway as being like taking off, and getting off the highway and reaching your destination as landing.

        True, that doesn’t mirror most people’s driving experiences, but for people that live near a highway exit and spend most of their time driving on the highway, I think it’s a pretty good comparison. If I’m driving to New York City, I’d spend a short while getting to I95, then a long while on Autopilot. If I had a Tesla anyways.

  5. braindead says:

    this is what happens when artarded individuals try to evaluate AI, aaaa tesla scary, autopilot bad, manual driving good, buba is afraid, buba likes walking..

    ding dongs

    1. brainalive aka sven says:

      This is what happens when a braindead Tesla fanboy reads an unbiased review of the Telsa Autopilot discussing the pros and cons of the technology in an honest manner.

      1. Anon says:

        Sven = Euro-Bubba?

        1. brainalive aka sven says:

          That’s quite a compliment coming from the Anti-Volt Bubba. 😉

          1. Anon says:

            I’m not particularly anti-Volt, just anti-Hybrid.

            Such drivetrains purposely delay the advancement and adoption of longer range BEVs and put little pressure on automakers or advanced battery development to create cleaner, more energy efficient transport. These drivetrains also trick consumers into using much more oil-based fuels than they otherwise assumed at sale time.

            Basically, I don’t see the Volt as being much different than a 1940’s Diesel Electric Locomotive. I don’t call those trains, EVs, any more than I would call the Volt one.

            And while on the subject, I have far more disdain for GM’s business practices of murdering their consumers, covering up deadly defects for years while lying to the public and government, fighting lowering emissions standards, lobbying for weaker collision standards, and lobbying to block sales of American Automotive products from startups like Tesla.

            If the label, “Bubba” helps you gel all of that into a singularly coherent concept of my position on the matter– then so be it.

  6. NYC driver says:

    the guys are biased. They have repeatedly called counsumers buying tesla as “guinea pigs.” I think they could have done the video more fairness and aknowledge a company that has changed the auto industry.

  7. GasKilla says:

    Are the other car makers system’s that good, can they auto lane change? This video didn’t really do a good job showing how it works or what the graphics mean.

  8. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I don’t know if the error is from Consumer Reports or from this InsideEVs writer, but it’s the Autosteer feature of Autopilot which has been released in Beta mode, not Autopilot in general. Autopilot is Tesla’s general label for its driver assist features.

  9. Michael says:

    Hilarious that they think the autopilot is a dangerous temptation. Whereas a a supercharged V8 muscle car on 21″ rims would never lead anyone to to drive recklessly.

    1. DMW says:

      Good comparison. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a friend who took me on a test drive. My initial reaction was ” OMG this thing is going to kill us all. ” Amazing how quickly my attitude changed to” this will save lives. ” I wonder how many accidents have been avoided by this system already. That would be a statistic I’d like to study.

  10. JimGord says:

    Lame subjective review.

    Whining complainers about why the most advanced vehicle system ever built that makes no claims about being self driving – is not self driving.

    1. V. Bowman says:

      +1 Not too mention the comparison of Tesla’s technology to allowing your toddler to drive your car. Clearly biased indeed…if not then why use such a loaded comparison?