The U.S. government has launched a formal investigation TeslaAutopilot Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) after a series of accidents involving Tesla cars crashing into parked emergency vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation was conducted after 11 accidents, in which 17 people were injured and 1 person died, and may affect 7,65,000 vehicles.
- Evaluate the technology used in Tesla’s ADAS
- 11 accidents occurred at emergency scenes with illuminated signs and traffic cones
- Autonomous driving systems previously investigated by NTSB
The notice issued by NHTSA covers almost all Teslas sold in the United States since 2014, including Model, X type, Model 3 and Y type.
Why is NHTSA investigating Tesla?
NHTSA stated that its Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) has identified 11 accidents involving Tesla vehicles, which occurred when Tesla vehicles encountered a “first response site” that was being processed by emergency service vehicles.
The agency said that most of these accidents occurred after dark and included control measures such as emergency vehicle lights, illuminated road signs and traffic cones.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every Tesla involved in the accident had an autopilot or a traffic-aware cruise control advanced driver assistance system when approaching the accident site. The car in question subsequently crashed into one or more cars at the scene of the first responders.
Autopilot is a secondary ADAS system, which means it can control the steering and speed of the vehicle, although NHTSA stated in its statement that the driver retains “primary responsibility for object and incident detection and response (OEDR).”
NHTSA stated that its investigation will “evaluate technologies and methods used to monitor, assist and force drivers to participate in dynamic driving tasks in autonomous driving mode.” It will also investigate any cause of the crash.
Tesla Autopilot: previous investigation
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has previously investigated Autopilot, and the committee recommended that NHTSA require Tesla to introduce better systems to ensure that drivers can concentrate when using Autopilot.
In the 2018 crash report released last year, the NTSB determined that Tesla was not doing enough to prevent system abuse, and that NHTSA’s laissez-faire approach to supervising ADAS and related technologies ignored such risky systems.
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