The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a probe into yet another fatal car crash involving Tesla’s Autopilot “full self-driving” system. The latest Tesla crash under federal investigation resulted in three fatalities.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the NHTSA has launched a special crash investigation into a fatal wreck involving a Tesla vehicle that resulted in three people dying. The vehicle involved was identified as a 2022 Tesla Model S and the incident has been added to a list of auto crashes the NHTSA believes may be linked to semiautonomous driving features like Tesla’s “full self-driving” Autopilot system.
Elon Musk’s Tesla Autopilot system has been linked to a number of crashes in recent years. In August of 2021, a 22-year-old college student was killed when a Tesla Model S on Autopilot collided with her parked car. In January of 2018, a Tesla vehicle on Autopilot system collided with a fire engine while traveling at 65 miles per hour.
The NHTSA launched an official investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot system in 2021 noting that there had been 11 crashes linked to the system since 2018. Now, the NHTSA says that more than 30 incidents have been linked to Tesla’s Autopilot system.
A recent study conducted by MIT suggests that the Full Self-Driving system — which is actually not fully autonomous and is more of an advanced driver assist system (ADAS) — may not be very safe. Researchers studied glance data from 290 human-initiated Autopilot disengagement epochs and found that drivers often become inattentive when using automated driving systems.
The study states: “Visual behavior patterns change before and after [Autopilot] disengagement. Before disengagement, drivers looked less on road and focused more on non-driving related areas compared to after the transition to manual driving. The higher proportion of off-road glances before disengagement to manual driving were not compensated by longer glances ahead.”
Read more at the Wall Street Journal here.
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