Multiple accidents involving first responders and a Tesla on Autopilot prompted a federal probe into the Californian company’s autonomous driving features
The NHTSA is in charge of the inquiry
Several automakers have been requested to release information pertaining to their own level 2 autonomous driving technologies
Since eleven crashes occurring between a Tesla driven by Autopilot and first responders occurred in the United States, the government launched an investigation into autonomous driving features, especially those present in Tesla vehicles.
These accidents have caused 17 injuries and one fatality when emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road went unnoticed by Tesla’s self-driving systems
In order to better asses the situation regarding level 2 autonomous driving features, the NHTSA has recently requested major manufacturers such as General Motors, Ford, Stellantis, Volkswagen, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Subaru to turn over their data concerning the any incidents caused by their driver assistance systems, customer complaints about these systems, the number of vehicles equipped with them in the United States and the number of miles that have been covered with the computer at the wheel.
The three American companies have until November 3 to turn over their data, while the other manufacturers have until November 17. Failure to comply could cost the automaker up to $115 million.
With this data, the NHTSA should be able to understand how every automaker’s system behaves in real-world driving scenarios and how often they are activated during an accident. Knowing this, the government will be better equipped to determine the safety of Tesla’s Autopilot.
It is worth to remember that despite its name, Autopilot requires the driver to be fully attentive at all times and ready to take control of the vehicle if an emergency arises.