Tesla’s Autopilot feature is one of the most sought-after ones among consumers. However, a recent investigation by NHTSA states that the feature is involved in nearly 16 crashes with its first responder vehicles.
NHTSA started its investigation last year after nearly a dozen accounts of Tesla’s autopilot reported throwing cars at the first responder vehicles. Afterward, the report accounted for six more crash investigations.
The extended probe covers nearly 830,000 Tesla models, including Y, X, S, and three vehicles between 2014 and 2021.
Concerns about Tesla Autopilot
As per a report spotted by Gizmodo, an NHTSA spokesperson verified that the investigation status is increasing from a “preliminary evaluation” of the Autopilot feature to an “engineering analysis.”
Under the new status, the regulators will enhance vehicle evaluations, perform crash analyses and “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 Washington Post states that the engineering analysis stage is usually the final one in the investigation before an NHTSA issues a recall.
The document states that the Autopilot feature of Tesla provided forward collision alerts in 16 crashes. However, the automated braking system only engaged in half of the cases. According to the report, the Autopilot “aborted vehicle control” less than a second before the impact.
The NHTSA spokesperson made a point in his statement that “no commercially available motor vehicles today are capable of driving themselves,” which Musk failed to clear to his customers.
“Every available vehicle requires the human driver to be in control at all times, and all State laws hold the human driver responsible for the operation of their vehicle,” he mentioned.
Tesla is no stranger to recalling vehicles due to its self-driving technology. Last November, the company recalled over 11,704 vehicles because of a software glitch that could cause a “false forward-collision warning” or automated braking.
Recently, Tesla was forced to recall 53,822 vehicles due to its full self-driving beta with concerns that the new driver profile settings were causing vehicles to roll stop at intersections illegally.