Consumer Reports tests Tesla Model 3 braking [CREDIT: Consumer Reports]
In the latest ranking of automaker self-driving systems, Tesla's popular Autopilot system ranked second to Cadillac's Super Cruise system.
The ratings come from Consumer Reports, which tested the cars on its test track and on local highways, in both lead and following positions.
The organization rated the systems on their capability and ease of use; how they ensured that drivers stay engaged and don't become complacent; and to what degree the systems allow drivers to engage them in circumstances where they're not designed to be used.
Cadillac CT6 Supercruise
Consumer Reports noted that none of the systems qualify as self driving, even though some automakers market them as such. (It even contacted Volvo to suggest it remove its Pilot Assist system from the Autonomous Driving section of its website, which the automaker did.)
The organization rated Tesla's Autopilot system the most capable and as having the best performance among the four it tested, but it scored the worst at keeping the driver engaged, which dropped it below Cadillac's Super Cruise system in the overall rankings.
In addition to a camera monitoring whether the driver is paying attention to the road and has his or her hands on the steering wheel, Cadillac only allows Super Cruise to be engaged on 130,000 miles of divided highways in North America with no cross traffic, says spokesman Danny Nordlicht.
These modern self-driving systems are becoming more common even in affordable cars as they begin to trickle down from high-tech luxury machines and have drawn attention from the public—and from authorities—after a series of accidents involving Tesla's Autopilot as well as self-driving systems from Uber and Waymo.