NHTSA Probes Tesla Autopilot Again After 20 Crashes Since Update Remedy

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Apr 27, 2024 - 07:45 PM

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating Tesla's Autopilot (again) to determine if the over-the-air update to the automated driving system was enough to keep drivers on the road. 

The new probe comes after the NHTSA closed a multi-year investigation into Autopilot. The prior report found evidence that "Tesla's weak driver engagement system was not appropriate for Autopilot's permissive operating capabilities," which resulted in a "critical safety gap."

On Friday, NHTSA said the original Autopilot investigation was opened to see if "Tesla's Autopilot contained a defect that created an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety," adding that it discovered similar findings with Tesla's voluntary recall (Recall 23V838). 

The initial investigation found at least 13 crashes involving one or more fatalities, many more involving severe injuries, in which "foreseeable driver misuse played an apparent role," NHTSA said. 

The new investigation covers two million Model Y, X, S, 3, and Cybertruck vehicles equipped with Autopilot produced between 2012 and 2024. 

The federal agency is concerned about whether the company's remedy was enough, partly because 20 crashes have occurred since the over-the-air software update earlier this year. 

One ZH reader reached out to us about Autopilot, explaining that the automated driving system has become increasingly aggressive in making sure the operator is paying attention since the update. The individual told us he was suspended from using Autopilot earlier this week for what he says were 'minor' distractions while driving, adding that the warning system is getting more strict by the update. 

During a call with investors earlier this week, Elon Musk said, "I actually do not think that there will be significant regulatory barriers, provided there is conclusive data that the autonomous car is safer than a human-driven car," adding that those who doubt Tesla's ability to "solve" autonomy shouldn't invest in the company. 

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has weaponized federal agencies against Musk's companies, such as SpaceX and Tesla. This is mainly over Musk's 'free speech' platform, "X," which the Biden administration despised because it has been unable to suppress the First Amendment on the platform through the censorship-industrial complex.