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Tesla's newest Autopilot function criticized as unsafe

Tesla has recently added functions to improve its Navigate on Autopilot system. However, testers with Consumer Reports have found these updates wanting. Pennsylvania motorists should know that the Autopilot can now change lanes without the driver's input.

Testers at Consumer Reports called the performance worse than that of a human driver. The vehicle would cut off cars that were speeding up in the other lane. Furthermore, it would pass other cars in ways that constituted traffic violations. When merging, the vehicle would sometimes automatically brake to make room for other cars, surprising the driver inside.

It should be noted that the Autopilot features are optional. Drivers can even cancel lane changes via touchscreen or a movement of the turn signal, yet Consumer Reports says that the feature is overall an inconvenience. Tesla, for its part, warns that drivers are still responsible for executing safe lane changes. The automatic lane-changing feature is based on map, fleet and sensor data.

Other features of Navigate on Autopilot include Lane Departure Avoidance and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance. The first warns drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel when changing lanes while the second prevents a vehicle from changing lanes if it senses an impending collision.

It can be difficult to determine liability when a vehicle with new safety tech is involved in a crash. This is where a lawyer can be helpful for an injured car accident victim. The victim may be able to file a claim against the other driver's insurance company or against the automaker if there was a mechanical defect.

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