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Tesla's Navigate On Autopilot Less Competent Than Human Driver: Consumer Reports

Tesla Inc.'s (TSLA) autopilot software is "less competent than a human driver" says a new report from Consumer Reports, which evaluated the viability of the luxury electric car maker's new software update.

Tesla recently updated its autopilot software to include Navigate, a program that uses the car's software to calculate lane changes on the highway without any driver input. Tesla says it's an attempt to make driving "more seamless."

However, Consumer Reports says its tests found that Navigate doesn't work very well and could create potential safety risks for drivers. "In practice, we found that Navigate on Autopilot lagged far behind a human driver's skill set: The feature cut off cars without leaving enough space and even passed other cars in ways that violate state laws, according to several law enforcement representatives CR interviewed for this report," the report says.

"The system's role should be to help the driver, but the way this technology is deployed, it's the other way around," says Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' senior director of auto testing. "It's incredibly nearsighted. It doesn't appear to react to brake lights or turn signals, it can't anticipate what other drivers will do, and as a result, you constantly have to be one step ahead of it."

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