The U.S. has opened a formal investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot system, Yahoo! Finance and others reported have reported. The article stated that the investigation was opened after almost 12 collisions involving first-responder vehicles at crash scenes. The probe, which is being conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will cover around 765,000 Tesla vehicles from the 2014–2021 model years. The regulator decided to investigate after 11 crashes that resulted in 17 injuries and one fatality.
The NHTSA wrote, “Most incidents took place after dark and the crash scenes encountered included scene-control measures such as first-responder vehicle lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board, and road cones.
“The involved subject vehicles were all confirmed to have been engaged in either Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control during the approach to the crashes.”
I personally think this investigation will be good for Tesla as well as Tesla owners and supporters. If the agency finds Tesla at fault in some way, Tesla will take action to correct those issues as requested by the NHTSA. On the other hand, if the agency clears Teslas, that will help end a lot of the anti-Tesla hype that surrounds each Tesla crash involving Autopilot — or even crashes not involving Autopilot.
Tesla has focused on doing anything humanly possible and financially practical to make Elon’s point that Tesla builds the safest cars on the market. This is one reason why the company always publishes its own safety reports. We’ll see what comes of this investigation, but I am optimistic.
→ Related story: Tricking Driver-Assist Systems On 17 Vehicles — Not Just Teslas
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