AR IL ATE SPRING, MRS (AP) – Consumer reports said on Thursday that it was able to easily trick Tesla into driving in automatic test mode with no one behind the wheel.
The test took place a few days after the Tesla crash in Texas, which killed two people in a car. Authorities say no men were in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash.
Tesla’s “Autopilot” partial automation system can keep the car focused in its lane, keep its distance from the cars in front, and even with the driver’s consent can change the lanes on its own. But Tesla says the driver must be prepared to constantly intervene.
Consumer Reports says that during several closed-door tours with the driver’s seat empty, his Tesla Model Y automatically drove along the painted lines, making sure no one was in control. The Tesla that crashed outside Houston over the weekend was a Model S, but it also had an autopilot function.
“In our estimation, the system not only failed to make sure the driver was paying attention, but also could not know if there was a driver at all,” said Ake Eke Fischer, senior director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports. “Tesla lags behind other automakers, such as GM and Ford, which use technology in models with advanced driver assistance systems to make sure the driver looks on the road.”
Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, has liquidated its press office and has not immediately responded to inquiries into Consumer Reports allegations.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are in the early stages of investigating a Texas crash. Local authorities said one person was found at the scene and the other behind. Authorities said the car veered off the road, crashed into a tree and exploded.
Investigators must be able to determine whether Tesla’s Autopilot system was working.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter on Monday that logs “so far restored” show that the autopilot was not switched on at the time of the crash in Texas and that “Full Self-Driving” was not purchased for the car. He did not answer reporters’ questions posted on Twitter.
In the past, NHTSA, which has the authority to regulate automakers to recall defective vehicles, has taken a practical approach to regulating partially fully automated systems for fear of hindering the development of promising new features.
But since March, the agency has stepped up its investigation into Tesla, sending teams into three accidents. It has studied 28 Tesla accidents over the past few years, but so far has relied on the voluntary safety compliance of auto and technology companies.
On Thursday, Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. Մ Edward Markin, D-Mass., asked federal officials to conduct a thorough investigation into the Texas crash և to make suggestions for improving automated driving.
In a Consumer Reports test, Fischer said he got involved with Autopilot while the car was moving on the line, then quickly set the speed to zero to stop it. Fischer then attached a slightly weighted chain to the steering wheel to simulate the driver’s hand weight. He then slid into the front passenger seat, where he was able to accelerate and slow down the car.
“The car was driving half a mile on our way, never noticing that no one was in the driver’s seat, never noticing that there was no one behind the wheel, not noticing that there was no weight on the seat. “Fisher said. “It was a little scary when we realized how easy it was to break the guarantees, which proved to be clearly insufficient.”
Consumer Reports noted that the test was conducted in a closed way, that “no one should try to copy” it.
“Let me be clear. “Anyone who uses an automatic pilot on the road, without anyone sitting in the driver’s seat, puts themselves and others in immediate danger,” Fischer said.