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Tesla Autopilot Under Investigation – Again

Key Takeaways

  • It’s been a rough few months for Tesla from a rocky rollout of the Cybertruck to rumored Model 2 cancellations.
  • Now NHTSA has opened a new investigation into a fix previously issued to address concerns about the safety of Autopilot.
  • Although Tesla has already issued software updates, NHTSA has questions about whether the updates fix the problem.

Tesla has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. The long-awaited Cybertuck was voluntarily recalled over a safety issue with the accelerator pedal. There were also concerns about its towing range and apparent inability to go through a car wash without being bricked.

Meanwhile, CEO Elon Musk was busy refuting claims that the affordable Model 2 was canceled as he tried to get everyone excited about Tesla’s upcoming fleet of robotaxis. The latest bad news comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


New Investigation, Old Problem

Last week, it opened an investigation into whether a recent fix to Tesla’s Autopilot technology actually addressed the problem. Paul Waatti, director of industry analysis, AutoPacific, told CarBuzz, “NHTSA has initiated an investigation into Tesla’s recall of over 2 million vehicles due to concerns about the adequacy of new Autopilot safeguards following 20 crashes.”

“This development adds significant pressure on Tesla, particularly as it pushes for FSD technology in other global markets, including China.” – Paul Waatti, AutoPacific Director of Industry Analysis.


Defining Autopilot

NHTSA initially investigated Autopilot back in 2021 after reports of hundreds of collisions and 13 fatalities involving the use of the technology. It determined that people were confused by the name, thinking it could drive the car without the driver’s full attention, which is not the case. It wasn’t a matter of the technology failing, but of people using it incorrectly. It’s a real issue with one Model X owner in Sweden recently taking a 25-mile nap while using Autopilot as the police tried to figure out how to get it to stop.


Tesla Cybertruck Recalled As Accelerator Pedals Threaten Driver Safety

Several Cybertruck owners had to change their plans to receive their EVs this past weekend, and now a recall has been made official.

The solution was a software update that encourages drivers to pay attention and includes alerts whenever Autopilot and Autosteer are in use. Sounds like a good fix, but NHTSA isn’t happy with how that software update was implemented. Subsequent investigations into crashes after the software update revealed multiple concerns.


Updates That Can Be Ignored

Rather than being a forced updated, the owner must opt-in to allow the update to occur. Additionally, they can choose to reverse the update, effectively negating the new warnings NHTSA deemed so important. There are also questions about updates Tesla deployed at a later date to address some of NHTSA’s concerns and why they weren’t a part of the initial software update. While there are issues with Tesla’s self-driving technologies in the US, China offered the company a bit of good news.


Nearly Every Tesla In America Recalled Following Autopilot Investigation

The NHTSA believes the system doesn’t do enough to prevent driver misuse.

Musk was in Beijing over the weekend to help clear the way for its full-self driving technology. Chinese regulators had concerns about the company’s ability to protect data, but Tesla and five other Chinese automakers have now had their data security measures approved. Tesla also solidified a deal with Baidu, a Chinese tech company that will provide high-resolution maps. Since China prohibits automakers from utilizing software that could identify people outside the vehicle, high resolution maps are essential to successfully implementing self-driving technologies.


#Tesla #Autopilot #Investigation

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