NHTSA Asks 12 Competing Automakers To Help With Its Broad Investigation Of Tesla's Autopilot

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 - 08:25 PM

The wide-ranging NHTSA probe into Tesla's Autopilot just got a little more "wide-ranging".

That's because today it was reported that the NHTSA has asked for help from 12 major competitors other automakers in its probe of crashes involving Tesla vehicles. 

General Motors, Toyota, Ford and Volkswagen were among the names contacted by the NHTSA as the regulator starts to conduct a "comparative analysis" with other "production vehicles equipped with the ability to control both steering and braking/accelerating simultaneously under some circumstances," Reuters reported Tuesday

The NHTSA is seeking out information on any crashes in which an advanced driver system was operating "anytime during the period beginning 30 seconds immediately prior to the commencement of the crash," the report said. 

The regulator is also looking into how driver assistance systems confirm that drivers are engaged and paying attention. And finally, the NHTSA asked other automakers about their "strategies for detecting and responding to the presence of first responder / law enforcement vehicles."

Recall, the NHTSA recently said it had opened a formal investigation into the company's Autopilot feature. It said it is opening a probe into Tesla's Model X, S, and 3 for model years 2014-2021. The broad range of models and model years means that this could be the broad investigation that Tesla skeptics have been requesting for years. Specifically, the regulator is looking into a litany of accidents involving Teslas on Autopilot slamming into inanimate emergency response vehicles on the road. 

The NHTSA said the investigation would assess technologies, methods "used to monitor, assist, and enforce the driver's engagement" during autopilot operation, according to Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs appeared anything but optimistic that the probe into Autopilot would be resolved quickly. “Given the current probe is related to a Level 2 driver-assist system, one solution could be for an enhanced driver monitoring system to ensure driver compliance with Tesla’s terms of use,” the investment bank wrote last month.