Tesla Autopilot, similar automated driving systems rated 'Poor' by safety panel

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety introduced a new safety rating system for partially automated driving systems, and the first tests didn't go well for Tesla — or nearly anything. Electric vehicle Great competitors.

Under the system, the IIHS gives systems a rating of good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on their protections, and none of the automated systems give an overall rating of “good.”

The interior of a Tesla Model S is shown in Autopilot mode on April 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (REUTERS/Alexandria Sage/File Photo/Reuters Photos)

Of the 14 systems evaluated, 11 were found to be “poor,” including Tesla's Autopilot and its fully self-driving version in beta testing, Nissan's ProPILOT Assist 2.0, Mercedes-Benz's Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with Active Steering, Ford's BlueCruise and BMW's Active Driving Assistant.

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The only system that performed worse than Tesla's, according to the findings, was Volvo's Pilot Assist.

A close-up of the Tesla Motors logo on a building

A close-up of the Tesla Motors logo against a bright blue sky on July 23, 2018 in Pleasanton, California. ((Photo by Smith Collection/Kado/Getty Images) / Getty Images)

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But the remaining three systems didn't receive glowing reviews from the IIHS.

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Lexus's Teammate with Advanced Drive is the best setup, earning an overall rating of “Acceptable.” No. 2 spot went to General Motors' Super Cruise, and Nissan's ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link took third place — both systems received “marginal” ratings from the IIHS.

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“Some drivers may think that partial automation makes long drives easier, but it also makes driving safer,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “As several high-profile outages have illustrated, it can introduce new risks when systems lack appropriate safeguards.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk attended an event

Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the Vivatech technology startups and innovation exhibition on June 16, 2023 in Paris. ((Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)/Getty Images)

Tesla and its chief executive, Elon Musk, have said that a Tesla operating with Autopilot is 10 times safer than the American average and five times safer than a Tesla without the technology. Federal regulators are investigating nearly 1,000 crashes involving Tesla's Autopilot.

The IIHS said manufacturers will continue to improve their systems' security features, and noted that the two Tesla systems it tested used software prior to the company's latest software update from December.

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Each of the automakers that responded to FOX Business' requests for comment on the IIHS report expressed their commitment to safety.

In a statement, Nissan said, “The company is evaluating the results of the first Part Automation safety test and will continue to work with the IIHS on all matters related to customer safety.”

Ford said, “We have been working closely with the IIHS since the introduction of Bluecruise in 2021. While we disagree with the IIHS's findings, we will take their feedback into consideration as we continue to evaluate future updates.”

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In its statement, Mercedes-Benz said, “This new IIHS test method does not evaluate the effectiveness of driver assistance systems, but instead focuses on safeguards to prevent misuse. We take the findings of the IIHS partial driver automation safety ratings very seriously.”

A Volvo spokeswoman said in a statement: “We believe Volvo cars are autonomous or not, and we do not sell any cars with what we consider to be autonomous driving features at the time.” They added, “We are pleased to see the IHS propose countermeasures and testing protocols to try to reduce the prevalence of both overreliance on and misuse of any driver assistance systems.”

BMW said, “We respect and appreciate the IIHS's efforts to challenge our industry to make better, safer vehicles, but occasionally we differ philosophically about how to do certain things — in this case, how driver assistance systems should monitor the driver's attention and in what situations.” .”

The BMW statement added, “The test conducted by the IIHS on the BMW X1 evaluated only one function of a driver assistance system.”

Lexus company Toyota also released a statement saying, “Beyond applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards, Toyota continues to aim to increase vehicle safety. As part of that effort, Toyota considers, among other things, performance in third-party testing programs. NHTSA's New Car Rating Program and IIHS's Best Safety Examination Program.”

GM said, “As new vehicles increasingly come with more advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), initiatives such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) partial automation ratings are critical to more robust and integrated defenses. Extending safety, it's meant to enhance the driving experience. Super Cruise is an ADAS, not a safety feature.”

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Tesla did not respond to a FOX Business request for comment on the findings.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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