The Autopilot driver assistance system used in Tesla’s electric vehicles has raised questions from federal regulators. According to The New York Times, the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed an investigation into 23 accidents involving Tesla vehicles whose drivers have used or may have used automatic steering and automatic emergency braking.
In one crash this month, a Tesla Model Y crashed into a police car parked in the right lane of a highway with its hazard lights on near Lansing, Michigan. According to the police, the driver of the car, who was seriously injured, used the “Autopilot” mode on.
“We need to see the results of the investigations first, but these incidents are the latest examples showing that Tesla’s advanced cruise control functions are not very good at detecting and preventing collisions with a vehicle stopped on a highway.” – said Jason Levine, executive director of the Automotive Safety Center.
This new investigation comes at a critical juncture for Tesla. After hitting an all-time high this year, its share price fell about 20% as the company lost market share. The recently launched Ford Motor Mustang Mach E and Volkswagen ID.4 are considered serious contenders for the Model Y.
The results of the investigation are important not only for Tesla, but also for other tech and automotive companies developing autonomous driving systems. While Elon Musk has repeatedly stated that widespread use of self-driving cars is just around the corner, companies such as Ford, General Motors and Waymo (a division of Alphabet, Google’s parent company) believe that this moment could come years later. or even decades.
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