Tesla is launching Steam in its cars with thousands of games, reviving the debate around the term Autopilot.

A new update is available for Tesla vehicles. New: Tesla launches Steam in its cars with thousands of games. The maneuver revives the debate around the term Autopilot. Indeed, it reinforces the idea of ​​Don’t worry, you can even play behind the wheel, Tesla takes care of everything, you don’t have to drive anything, and you don’t have to think about anything but the fun above. all. This safety issue related to distracted driving comes in the context of the manufacturer admitting that their cars are still in the driver assistance stage. However, users perceive them as fully autonomous vehicles.

The automation available in cars that can be purchased today is considered Level 1 or Level 2. It refers to systems that can perform one or more parts of the driving task under the control of the driver. These systems are a far cry from level 5 automation, where the entire driving task can be performed without human intervention under any conditions.

Despite the limitations of the current systems, some names seem very surprising in terms of their ability to distract the driver from the road. The study revealed that the names manufacturers use for these systems can send the wrong messages to drivers about the level of attention. Another revealed that drivers do not always understand the important information that system displays convey.

A practical case is the name “Autopilot”. The latter may cause people to overestimate the capabilities of Tesla’s driver assistance technology. Tesla supporters counter this by pointing out that the planes’ autopilot capabilities are not fully autonomous. Pilots still need to monitor their performance and intervene if things go wrong, and Tesla’s Autopilot system is no different. .

A survey by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety provides valuable information for this discussion. The group asked drivers questions about the capabilities of five advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). They identified products only by brand: Autopilot (used by Tesla), Traffic Assist (Audi and Acura), Super Cruise (Cadillac), Driving Assistant Plus (BMW), and ProPilot Assist (Nissan). Respondents did not know which manufacturer produced each product and its capabilities. There were 2,000 respondents in total, but only two of the five systems were asked about, with several hundred responses per product.

It should be noted that none of these systems reliably manage lane keeping and speed control in all situations. All require drivers to pay attention, and all but Super Cruise warn the driver if their hands on the wheel are not detected. Super Cruise instead uses a camera to monitor the driver’s gaze and will warn if the driver is not looking ahead.

For each ADAS system, drivers were asked about the safety of various activities not recommended by car manufacturers (from taking their hands off the wheel to falling asleep while driving). More participants felt that each of these actions was harmless with Autopilot active than with any of the other four ADAS systems.

For example, 48% of respondents said it was safe for the driver to take their hands off the wheel when Autopilot was activated, compared to about 33% for ProPilot Assist and less than 30% for other named systems. Six percent of drivers said it was safe to sleep in a car with autopilot enabled, compared to only three percent for other ADAS systems.

However, Tesla has contradicted all these reports by announcing the launch of Steam in its cars, thus fueling fears of distraction.

Distracted driving is the leading cause of traffic deaths in the United States. According to the estimates of the Minister of Transport, 20,160 people died in road accidents during the 6 months of this year. This is an 18.4% increase compared to the first half of 2020 and the highest since 2006. Driver inattention is officially cited as the cause of about 10% of road deaths, General Motors CEO Steve Keefer said. foundation dedicated to combating distracted driving. But he and other safety experts believe the real number is higher, because they say crash investigations often ignore distraction and cite other causes, such as dangerous driving. “I think the number is closer to 50 percent,” Kiefer said.

Distracted driving results from activities that take the driver’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or distraction from the task of driving. This is often associated with smartphone use, such as texting or emailing, while driving, but it also happens when drivers read a book or apply makeup. Some states prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Automakers, Apple and Google have developed in-car software to make it easier to use voice commands to send text messages and mute phone calls while driving.

Source: Tesla

And you?

What do you think about this Tesla feature that can play video games in moving cars?
Do you think Tesla is compromising safety by rushing to add new technologies like this new feature?
Do you think the system name “Autopilot” could cause drivers to overestimate the real capabilities of Teslas?

See also:

According to Consumer Reports, Tesla’s Autopilot can be “easily” tricked into working without anyone in the driver’s seat, but you shouldn’t try it.

The Federal Highway Safety Agency says Tesla must now report Autopilot-related accidents to the government or face fines.

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