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General Motors Super Cruise Tops Tesla Autopilot in "Consumer Reports" Testing

By Lou Whiteman – Updated Oct 28, 2020 at 9:59AM

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Tesla has good technology, but poor safety controls, according to the magazine's evaluation.

A General Motors (GM 0.41%) vehicle with the company's Super Cruise technology is the top driver assistance system on the market, according to Consumer Reports, with Tesla's (TSLA 2.28%) ballyhooed Autopilot finishing "a distant second." 

Consumer Reports engineers compared the systems based on features including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance. The group ranked Super Cruise as the best option, in part because it deploys a small camera facing the driver's eyes to assess whether the driver is paying attention, an important factor as consumers become more comfortable with self-driving features and could pay less attention to the road.

"Even with new systems from many different automakers, Super Cruise still comes out on top due to the infrared camera ensuring the driver's eyes are looking toward the roadway," Consumer Reports' Kelly Funkhouser said in a summary of the findings released Wednesday.

Graphic illustrating a self-driving car.

Image source: Getty Images.

Tesla's Autopilot got high marks for its capabilities and performance, but was among the lowest ranked in terms of keeping the driver engaged. Super Cruise finished second behind Autopilot in terms of performance and tops in driver engagement, giving it the best overall score.

The evaluation also serves as a reminder of how fast these driver assistance systems are becoming mainstream. Consumer Reports evaluated 17 automaker systems for this year's rankings, up from just four in 2018.

Lou Whiteman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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