In an unusual move, Consumer Reports has called Tesla's Autopilot "Too Much Autonomy Too Soon" and called on the automaker to disable the hands-free feature until its safety can be improved. The system has come under increased scrutiny in the wake of a fatal May 7 crash in Florida, which U.S. safety regulators are investigating.
"By marketing their feature as 'Autopilot,' Tesla gives consumers a false sense of security," said Laura MacCleery, vice president of consumer policy and mobilization for Consumer Reports, in the article published Thursday. The article continues:
More than 70,000 Tesla cars are equipped with Autopilot worldwide, and drivers must actively choose to engage the system. In a blog post about the Florida accident, Tesla stressed that those cars have driven more than 130 million miles while using the feature, giving Tesla valuable data in real-world driving conditions. Some customers see the system as an enormous asset during grueling commutes, but YouTube is also filled with videos of people taking risks with it.