Telsa’s aggressive roll-out of its of self-driving technology along with a series of high-profile crashes has brought the automaker under intense scrutiny.
Consumer Reports is now calling for Tesla to disable hands-free driving until its system can be made safer.
Tesla’s self-driving feature, called “Autopilot” can automatically steer, change lanes, and adjust speed for drivers. But Consumer Reports says the name and marketing gives drivers the false sense of security that that car can drive on its own without the driver’s full attention, even letting them take their hands off the wheel.
An over reliance on this technology has significant safety consequences for drivers.
“We feel that Tesla needs to disable automatic steering from its vehicles until it can verify that the driver’s hands stay on the wheel,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of auto testing.
In a response to Consumer Reports, Tesla defended the safety record of the system, writing that 130 million miles have been driven on Autopilot, with one confirmed fatality.
Consumer Reports has also called for Tesla to fully test all new safety-critical systems before rolling them out to the public and issue clearer guidance to owners on how the systems should be used.