NHTSA Asks Tesla for Updated Data Amid Autopilot Probe


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has asked Tesla for updated data related to an ongoing investigation into 830,000 Tesla vehicles and the automaker’s Autopilot driver-assist system.

The NHTSA is investigating Tesla’s driver-assist system after it identified more than a dozen crashes involving the feature and emergency vehicles. The agency is also investigating whether Autopilot adequately ensures drivers are paying attention while it is operating.

The safety agency sent a letter to Tesla on July 3, requesting updates to inquiries it had made in 2022. A copy of the letter made public by the agency indicated it is demanding answers by July 19, Reuters reported.

The new letter also seeks data on the number of vehicles equipped with “Tesla Vision,” which solely relies on cameras instead of radar. The agency had previously inquired about Tesla’s cabin camera, used to check driver attentiveness while Autopilot or FSD is engaged.

Tesla has not shared a comment about the matter as of writing.

Tesla’s Autopilot (AP) allows vehicles to automatically steer, accelerate and brake within their designated lane, while Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) provides Teslas with the capability to perform lane changes on highways. Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta allows vehicles to navigate inner-city streets. Despite these capabilities, Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot and FSD Beta do not make vehicles fully autonomous.

In 2022, the NHTSA said nine out of 11 vehicles in prior crashes exhibited no driver engagement, visual alerts or audible alerts until just moments before a collision occurred. Four vehicles did not receive any visual or audible alerts at all during Autopilot’s final use cycle.

We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

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