The following was written and reported by The Utah Investigative Journalism Project in partnership with The Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — On June 28, 2018, a Tesla Model S was cruising through the desert west of Salt Lake City as part of an unusual, and potentially dangerous, experiment.

Heading west past Tooele on Interstate 80, where the views of the Great Salt Lake disappear and the billboards start to alternate between pro-life messages and advertisements for loose Nevada slots, the driver began to nod off.

Sitting in the back seat, a researcher with the University of Utah took notes. The objective of the study was to study drivers’ alertness while operating this new technology currently on the market. As futuristic as the technology is, it is not, however, fully autonomous. Previous studies have shown that the self-driving features can disengage abruptly, forcing drivers to take control of the vehicle again at a moment’s notice to avoid crashing the vehicle.

On this day in June, the researcher had been asked to track how the driver behind the wheel dealt with fatigue. The freeway was their laboratory. Commuters, long-haul truckers, revelers returning from West Wendover, Nevada, had no way of knowing they were part of …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Top stories


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