U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has revealed that there are real concerns about Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system Autopilot and its interaction with the drivers.
It looks like Tesla is once again under radar for alleged autopilot failures. On one hand, all the offerings from the renowned EV maker remain hot favorites of the market but the U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is clearly unimpressed. He has, in fact, “real concerns” about Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system, Autopilot and its interaction with the drivers. No wonder, then, that the Autopilot system is the subject of an ongoing government investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
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The NHTSA has been investigating a series of Tesla crashes involving Autopilot since August 2021. It is also monitoring if the Tesla vehicles adequately ensure drivers are paying attention. Last year, NHTSA upgraded to an engineering analysis of its defect probe into 830,000 Tesla vehicles with Autopilot and involving crashes with parked emergency vehicles. Earlier this year, Acting NHTSA Administrator Ann Carlson said the agency was “working really fast” on the probe.
“There is a real concern that’s not limited to the technology itself but the interaction between the technology and the driver,” said Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation Secretary. However, the Transportation Secretary also added that advanced driver assistance systems can benefit drivers. “The question is not are they absolutely free of problems or 1000% foolproof. The question is, how can we be sure that they will lead to a better set of safety outcomes … This technology has a lot of promise. We just have to make sure it unfolds in a responsible fashion,” he added.
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Recently, an engineer claimed that a self-driving video released by Tesla was staged.
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NHTSA has opened 40 Tesla special crash investigations since 2016. In these cases, the driver assistance systems were suspected of playing a part in 20 crash deaths. In 2020, NHTSA criticized Tesla’s “ineffective monitoring of driver engagement”. It called the 2018 fatal Autopilot crash “scant oversight.” Now, NHTSA has stated that evidence suggested drivers in most crashes complied with Tesla’s alert strategy. It has ruled out the use of Tesla Autopilot in three other special crash investigations. In April, NHTSA opened a probe into the use of Autopilot and other advanced driver systems in the Tesla that struck a 17-year-old student who exited a school bus in North Carolina.
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Keyword: Tesla Autopilot “A Real Concern” – USA Transporation Secretary