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New Tesla lane changing feature may pose a danger

On Behalf of | May 29, 2019 | Car Accidents |

Tesla introduced its Navigate on Autopilot feature in 2018 and has since made several updates to it. Anyone in New York who is interested in the development of semi-autonomous cars likely knows what this feature is. It is able to control a vehicle’s speed while keeping the vehicle centered in its lane, and if the driver tries to change lanes with no hands on the wheel, it will flash a warning. It can even pull a car back into its lane if it senses a collision.

There is, however, one new feature that has been criticized by Consumer Reports as being inconvenient and unsafe: the feature that allows the vehicle to change lanes without the driver’s confirmation. Testers found that the feature can lead a vehicle to cut off speeding cars too closely and to automatically brake during merges, giving drivers an unpleasant surprise. Some of the maneuvers can also constitute a violation of traffic laws.

In all, the feature’s performance was deemed worse than that of a human driver. While drivers can monitor the system and cancel a lane change via touchscreen, this may ultimately be more of a hassle than a benefit. Tesla responded to Consumer Reports by saying that the feature is not meant to replace drivers and that drivers are still responsible for safe lane changing.

Already, there have been three fatal car accidents involving Tesla vehicles on Autopilot. Those who are injured at the hands of a negligent driver, regardless of the kind of vehicle involved, may be able to file an auto accident claim against that driver’s insurance provider. It all depends on who was at fault and to what degree. A lawyer may be helpful since auto insurance companies are often aggressive in denying payment. The lawyer may handle all negotiations or litigation.