Two US senators have expressed their concerns about the company’s driver assistance systems in a letter
They claim Autopilot and FSD Beta are dangerous and not ready for public testing
Tesla defends its systems by saying they make drivers safer than the US average
In a letter sent to Tesla and CEO Elon Musk, two democratic US senators, Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey, expressed their “significant concerns” over the automaker’s driver assistance systems.
The senators claim that the Autopilot and the FSD Beta systems are not ready to be used on public roads and are therefore putting other road users at risk.
This criticism is mostly leveled at FSD Beta, which is an early version of the company’s awaited Full Self Driving feature that has now been released to around 60,000 non-trained American drivers for testing on the open road.
This testing method is different than the one used by other automakers and it is more closely related to the way video games and other softwares are tested before final release.
This has also prompted investigations by the NHTSA into both of the driver assistance systems in order to more accurately determine the level of risk they represent on the road.
In a reply to the senators, Tesla claimed Autopilot and FSD Beta allow drivers to be safer than the US average by taking care of some, but not all, of the driving tasks.
The automaker also recognises that both systems require constant driver supervision and do not make the vehicles autonomous, despite what the names may suggest. In order to minimise this problem, the company says it understands the need to properly educate drivers to each of the systems capabilities and limitations.
Both senators have dismissed this response by saying that Tesla is deflecting and that the company wants to continue selling cars equipped with Autopilot and FSD Beta despite what they claim to be a “troubling safety track record”.