A driver of Tesla’s Model S premium electric sedan equipped with an autopilot system was killed in a crash with a tractor-trailer that crossed in front of the car. The Tesla’s brake was not applied, since neither the automated system nor the driver recognized the white side of the semi-truck against a brightly lit sky, according to reports.Here’s what worries four experts from the University of Michigan about the fatal crash:1. Drivers who aren’t actively engaged in driving could fail to respond quickly to risk”Autopilot mode on Teslas is predicated on the driver always being ready to take back control from the system with essentially zero notice,” says Anuj Pradhan, an assistant research scientist in the Human Factors Group at the U-M Transportation Research Institute. ”However, when drivers no longer actively drive the car (i.e., undertake a control task) but still have to read the road environment as if one were driving so as to take back control at any time (i.e., perform a monitoring task), their performance in the monitoring task rapidly deteriorates.”Pradhan looks at injuries and fatalities due to vehicle crashes from a human factors and behavioral standpoint. He has focused on the human factors issues associated with automated vehicles in particular.”Sustained attention and continuous… Read full this story
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