Similar systems offered by General Motors, Ford Motor and other automakers use cameras to track a driver’s eyes and issue warnings when they look away from the road. After a few warnings, G.M.’s Super Cruise system shuts down and requires the driver to take control.
Autopilot does not track drivers’ eyes and monitors only if their hands are on the steering wheel. The system sometimes continues operating even if drivers have their hands on the steering wheel for only a few seconds at a time.
“This monitoring system is fundamentally weak because it’s easy to cheat and doesn’t monitor very consistently,” said Raj Rajkumar, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who focuses on autonomous driving technology.
Consumer Reports said in May that one of its engineers had been able to turn on Autopilot in a Tesla and slip into the back seat while the car kept going.