U.S. launches formal investigation into Tesla’s autonomous driving technology


Tesla Inc update

Independent regulators have repeatedly urged the U.S. government to investigate crashes involving Tesla’s Autopilot technology. The regulator accused the electric car manufacturer of releasing unproven technology on public roads.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under the U.S. Department of Transportation revealed on Monday that it has begun investigations into 11 accidents involving Tesla vehicles in which emergency vehicles were present.

According to the agency, these accidents that resulted in 17 injuries and 1 death all involved vehicles turning on autopilot or traffic-aware cruise control mode and occurred in scenes with obvious driver warning signs (such as cones and arrows).

This move marks an intensification of the investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot software, which has been led by the independent National Transportation Safety Commission so far. Unlike this organization, NHTSA has the right to force a recall of vehicles when faults are discovered, and to formulate regulations for the entire industry.

The survey announced on Monday covers almost all Tesla vehicles sold in the United States in recent years, about 765,000 vehicles. After the news, the automaker’s stock price fell by more than 4%. The Chinese automobile safety regulator said in June that Tesla had voluntarily recalled nearly 300,000 vehicles due to problems with the Autopilot software, but Tesla was able to resolve the issue later.

This investigation was conducted after the NTSB’s fierce criticism of federal regulators because it claimed it was a “non-interfering monitoring method.” [that] Poses a potential risk to motorists and other road users”.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has come under fire from the industry for claiming the software.

Earlier this year, NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt (Robert Sumwalt) said that Tesla has released a “beta” of its software for testing on public roads with limited supervision.

In a document dated August 13, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that it has identified 11 car accidents since 2018, in which various Tesla models “encountered scenes of first responders and subsequently crashed into them. One or more vehicles involved in these scenes.”

Musk has been criticized for his aggressive marketing of Tesla’s software and his decision to name it Autopilot, even though it is just a so-called Level 2 driver assistance system, which is far from the complete Level 5 where cars can drive autonomously.

The agency said on Monday: “NHTSA reminds the public that no commercial motor vehicle can drive autonomously today.” “Every available vehicle requires a human driver to be in control at all times, and all state laws require human drivers to operate the vehicle. Responsible.”

The federal investigation will investigate the state of Tesla’s artificial intelligence technology and the system the company uses to monitor drivers to ensure they are focused and have full control of the vehicle when needed. In 2016, after the first known fatal accident occurred when its Autopilot system was put into use, Tesla issued an additional warning to the driver.

“In order to align with NHTSA’s core safety mission and to better understand the causes of certain Tesla crashes, NHTSA is implementing the Tesla Autopilot system and the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist, and force drivers to participate in driving. Initial assessment, and Autopilot is in use,” NHTSA said.

“Certain advanced driver assistance functions can improve safety by helping drivers avoid collisions and reduce the severity of collisions, but like all technologies and equipment on motor vehicles, drivers must use them correctly and responsibly. “

The survey covers most Tesla cars produced since 2014, including Y, X, S and 3 models. Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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