NHTSA Probe of Tesla Autopilot Intensifies with 200 Crashes, 830,000 Cars Under Investigation

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A federal probe of Tesla’s Autopilot function has escalated, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) now investigating if the Autopilot feature is potentially defective. The agency is studying data on 200 Tesla crashes, stating that “On average in these crashes, Autopilot aborted vehicle control less than one second prior to the first impact.”

Business Insider reports that the NHTSA has escalated its probe into Telsa’s Autopilot function. The NHTSA first launched ints investigation into 765,000 Tesla cars ten months ago following 11 cases of Tesla cars colliding with first-responder vehicles.

tesla crash in Moscow

Tesla crash in Moscow (mr.medvedev/YouTube)


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The NHTSA said this week that it is widening the scope of the investigation into the effectiveness of Tesla’s driver assistance system. The agency will now be reviewing information from 830,000 Tesla cars and 200 new cases of crashes involving Tesla cars utilizing the Autopilot function.

The NHTSA said that it is treating the investigation as an “Engineering Analysis,” which is necessary before possibly issuing a recall of cars fitted with the Autopilot feature. According to a press release, the NHTSA’s expanded probe will “explore the degree to which Autopilot and associated Tesla systems may exacerbate human factors or behavioral safety risks by undermining the effectiveness of the driver’s supervision.”

The agency has added six more crashes involving first-responder vehicles to its analysis of Tesla’s Autopilot function since launching the probe ten months ago. The agency said that it found that Tesla’s warning system only activated moments before colliding with another vehicle. The agency added that the “Automatic Emergency Braking” only activated in about half of crashes. “On average in these crashes, Autopilot aborted vehicle control less than one second prior to the first impact,” the agency’s press release stated.

Tesla promotes its Autopilot system as a feature that allows cars to automatically brake and steer within lanes. It also labels some of its features as “Full Self-Driving.” The NHTSA states on its website: “There is no vehicle currently available for sale that is fully automated or ‘self-driving.'”

Read more at Business Insider here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com


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