OREANDA-NEWS. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found that the autopilot in cars leads to a deterioration in the attention of drivers on the roads. The study was published in the scientific journal Accident Analysis & Prevention.

As a study, 290 cases were analyzed when Tesla autopilots were turned off and a certain driver reaction was observed. Experts concluded that often even after this function is turned off in a car, the attention of the person behind the wheel will still remain distracted, and the concentration of attention on the road decreases.

For scientific work, MIT scientists relied on observation and Bayesian generalized linear mixed models. The data was collected using special software and three cameras installed in the cabin. It turned out that after turning off the autopilot and switching to manual control, drivers begin to monitor the road less closely.

The most frequent episodes of ignoring the road lane were distracted glances towards the dashboard or outside the window. In 22% of cases, test drivers were distracted from the road for more than two seconds.

It turned out that drivers do not fully understand the concept of Full Self-Driving technology that Tesla vehicles support. According to them, its purpose is to help on the road, and not to fully control the vehicle. Also, the authors of the study noted that at the moment, cars with autopilot make sure that the driver keeps both hands on the steering wheel. However, the car has no control over head position and gaze direction.

Earlier, experts from the Consumer Reports agency called the steering wheel, which is installed in new Tesla cars, potentially dangerous. According to test results, the helm does not allow the vehicle to be safely maneuvered at speed.