Tesla Model S owner tests Autopilot system from back seat
So-called self-driving or autonomous cars still aren’t on the market as of today, but you might not know that from a lot of the press coverage.
One of the most prominent systems is what electric-car maker Tesla Motors calls Autopilot.
In reality, it’s a collection of electronic active-safety systems with an enhanced adaptive cruise-control system and some interesting data-gathering techniques from the bulk of Teslas now on the road.
DON’T MISS: When to use Tesla’s Autopilot system, and when not to use it
But you wouldn’t necessarily know that from the name, which signals to most people an autonomous assistant that will actually drive the car for you under all or most circumstances.
The fact that airline pilots remain in the cockpit and alert while commercial airliners fly on autopilot usually gets lost in the discussion.
We asked our Twitter users where they fell on the merits and drawbacks of Tesla’s Autopilot system.
How do you view Tesla’s “beta” Autopilot system?
— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) August 22, 2016
As the results show, the vast majority of respondents felt that Autopilot was a huge advantage for Tesla Motors.
Almost three-quarters of Twitter respondents felt the system was a “huge selling point” for the startup car maker.
ALSO SEE: NHTSA to investigate Tesla Model S Autopilot crash that killed driver
Just one fifth of respondents (21 percent) said they view the Autopilot system with caution, and a mere 2 percent said they would never turn it on.
(The remaining 4 percent said that Autopilot was largely similar to the capabilities of other makers’ systems.)
In the wake of the first fatality in a Tesla operating on Autopilot, along with investigations by various government entities, Tesla is somewhat dialing back its language.
The company and its CEO Elon Musk have both stressed that drivers are to keep their hands on the wheel and remain attentive to the car’s operations at all times.
CHECK OUT: Let’s be clear: Tesla’s Autopilot is not a ‘self-driving car’
Unverified reports that the Navy Seal and Tesla driver killed in the Florida crash was watching Harry Potter on a portable video player suggest that not every owner may heed that advice.
After all, look at how many people you see texting behind the wheel on the roads around you—without benefit of any active-safety systems in some of their cars.
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