The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun an official review of the Tesla Autopilot automated driving system. The reason for this was several accidents involving Tesla electric vehicles and parked emergency vehicles.
The NHTSA statement, which was published on the official website of the department, said that Tesla’s autopilot does not recognize emergency vehicles well. Since 2018, there have been 11 accidents in which Tesla electric vehicles with Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control activated have crashed into cars with flashing lights, warning lights, illuminated displays with arrows or cones warning of danger, according to the department, since 2018. The NHTSA investigation covers Tesla’s Model X, Model Y, Model S and Model 3 electric vehicles, which were released between 2014 and 2021.
The source notes that often drivers use automatic driving systems for other purposes. There have been many recorded incidents in which Tesla electric vehicle drivers were drunk or even sat in the back seat while driving on the road. Since June 2016, NHTSA has investigated 31 accidents involving Tesla vehicles that had autopilot activated at the time of the collision. According to the agency, 25 of the total number of road accidents occurred with the Autopilot system turned on and resulted in the death of 10 people.
Tesla and other automakers warn that when using autonomous driving, the driver must be in place and ready to take over. Officials from the automaker have yet to comment on the new NHTSA investigation.