UPDATE: Euro NCAP Releases Tesla Model S Autopilot Video: Stops For Object
. . . one of the most important controversies surrounding Tesla Autopilot is tested and revealed.
We don’t know for sure what has changed and why this test is so much different from those initiated in the past, but clearly, the Tesla Model S “sees” the stationary car and alerts the driver and initiates automatic emergency braking. This is a huge step for Tesla vehicles — and for all vehicles for that matter — since the current/previous technology in almost every current vehicle was not programmed to stop in such situations. Still, there are many variables involved and this is simply one test. Drivers should not trust Tesla Autopilot or any other driver assistance system. Remaining engaged and alert, as well as following all the automaker’s precautions is always a must.
In addition to the video, the Euro NCAP website includes the following comments:
‘Autopilot’ on the Tesla Model S gives the driver a high level of support with the vehicle primarily in control in both braking and steering scenarios. This results in a risk of over-reliance as, in some situations, the system still needs the driver to instantly correct and override the system.
The name “Autopilot” implies a fully automated system where the driver is not required. However, the limited scenarios tested clearly indicate that is not the case, nor is such a system legally allowed. The handbook mentions that the system is intended only for use on Highways and limited access roads, but the system is not geofenced and can therefore be engaged on any road with distinct lane markings. The legally-required hands-off warning requires no more than a gentle touch of the steering wheel to avoid system deactivation, rather than ensuring the driver is still in control. To avoid misuse, Tesla has implemented a so-called ‘one-strike-you-are-out’ where Autopilot is not available for the remainder of a journey if the driver fails to nudge the steering wheel occasionally.
In the braking tests, the Model S shows full braking support by the system in nearly all scenarios except for the cut-in and cut-out scenarios where there is limited vehicle support. The full system support in the stationary scenario may result in over-reliance. However, in the cut-in and cut-out scenarios, the driver is required to apply the brakes in due time, which may reduce the driver’s over-reliance on the system.
In steering support, the Tesla does not allow the driver to input any steering himself and the system will provide all the steering required in the S-bend scenario. When system steering limits are reached, the vehicle will slow down to make the turn, again eliminating the need for driver input. In the absence of lane markings, Autopilot will stay engaged and will try to steer a safe path. However, with the sensors the Tesla has, this is nearly impossible to do reliably and implies to the driver that the vehicle can take all corners which, again, may result in over-reliance.
Overall, the Tesla system is primarily in control with a risk of driver becoming over-reliant on the system.
there's also a link to an NCAP video of Propilot doing many of the same tests.