Tesla and Competitors Flunk Automated Driving Tech Test: What Went Wrong?

Tesla and Rivals Receive Poor Ratings for Automated-Driving Technology

In a recent study released by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self Driving technology, along with nine other assisted-driving systems from major automakers, received “poor” ratings. The IIHS, a safety research arm of the insurance industry, found no evidence that these systems have real-world safety benefits based on crash data.

Tesla and its CEO, Elon Musk, have claimed that a Tesla operating with Autopilot engaged is significantly safer than the U.S. average and even safer than a Tesla without the technology enabled. However, federal regulators are currently investigating nearly 1,000 accidents involving Tesla’s Autopilot.

The study rated 14 assisted-driving systems from nine automakers against standards developed by the IIHS. Only one system, the Lexus Teammate with Advanced Drive, earned an acceptable rating. Other systems, such as GM’s Super Cruise and Nissan’s “ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link,” received marginal ratings.

While Tesla and other automakers are continuously improving their systems, the IIHS emphasized the need for safeguards to prevent misuse of these technologies. The lack of federal regulations and consistent guidance for advanced-driver assistance systems has prompted the IIHS to develop its own standards.

It is crucial for automakers to prioritize safety by adopting technologies such as driver-monitoring and attention warnings to enhance the performance of their assisted-driving systems. By doing so, they can improve their safety ratings and provide a safer driving experience for consumers.