Autopilot feature may introduce additional roadway risks

On Behalf of | May 30, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Texas motorists may be excited about the potential of automation to offer greater safety and security on the road. However, current versions of autonomous technologies are still in development and designed to assist human drivers rather than taking over the process of operating the vehicle. Some car accidents have been linked to drivers who relied on self-driving technologies and failed to pay attention to the road ahead. Innovative electric car manufacturer Tesla has been a leading developer of these systems, with its Autopilot featured on many models.

However, Consumer Reports has warned about some aspects of the Autopilot system, especially its April 2019 update. The magazine tested Navigate on Autopilot, which is supposed to automatically change lanes on highways to find the best way ahead without input from the human driver. This is an optional function that can be enabled or disabled by the human driver. The magazine’s testers warned that the feature, intended to improve safety, could actually lead to dangerous car accidents. Testers said that the feature would cut off other cars and pass in ways that were illegal under state laws, leading to potentially risky situations. Drivers could stop the lane changes by cancelling them on the car’s touchscreen before the car moved.

Tesla has been criticized by some for its promotion of Autopilot. Some have argued that the company promoted the technology excessively and failed to emphasize that it is merely an aid to human drivers rather than a fully autonomous experience.

Of course, motor vehicle collisions occur on a daily basis, with or without the assistance of additional technologies. Most of these are caused by human error. People who have been injured in a car crash caused by another can consult with a personal injury lawyer about pursuing compensation for their damages.

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