The “Autopilot” feature in Tesla cars that allows for semi-autonomous driving is facing calls for its removal following a second accident involving the system.
Nick Jaynes at Mashable writes that Laura MacCleery, the vice president of consumer policy and mobilization at Consumer Reports, has called for Tesla to “disable hands-free operation until its systems can be made safer.”
While Consumer Reports joins Consumer Watchdog in calling for Tesla to disable Autopilot, these calls may be premature. Millions of miles logged by Autopilot-enabled vehicles have indicated far fewer accidents than what drivers of traditional vehicles experience, meaning the two known accidents occurring with Autopilot engaged may represent less of a problem than some are suggesting.
According to Jaynes, Tesla has released a statement in response to some of these calls, saying “while we appreciate well-meaning advice from any individual or group, we make our decisions on the basis of real-world data, not speculation by media.”