The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot software, to assess the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist and enforce the driver’s engagement with the dynamic driving task during Autopilot operation.
There have been several Tesla Autopilot-related crashes, currently under investigation by the US NHTSA.
In a statement, the agency said that the probe will cover Tesla Models Y, X, S, and 3 vehicles released from 2014 through 2021.
“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 NHTSA said.
“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”.
Tesla vehicles come with a driver assistance system called ‘Autopilot’ that enhances safety and convenience behind the wheel. When used properly, Autopilot reduces your overall workload as a driver.
For an additional $10,000, people can buy “full self-driving” or FSD, that Musk promises will deliver full autonomous driving capabilities.
Despite tall claims made by Musk over Twitter about the full self-driving technology, electric car-maker Tesla has privately admitted that such claims do not match up with the engineering reality.
Since January 2018, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has identified eleven crashes in which Tesla models of various configurations have encountered first responder scenes and subsequently struck one or more vehicles involved with those scenes.
The investigation will additionally assess the OEDR by vehicles when engaged in Autopilot mode, and ODD in which the Autopilot mode is functional.
The investigation will also include examination of the contributing circumstances for the confirmed crashes listed below and other similar crashes.