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NHTSA urges Tesla for more records in Autopilot safety probe

Chairman and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of Twitter, Elon Musk attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center on June 16, 2023 in Paris, France.

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Tesla must send complete new records to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration as part of an Autopilot safety investigation or face heavy fines.

Whether You’re here fails to provide the federal agency with information about its advanced driver assistance systems, which are marketed as Autopilot, Full Self-Driving, and Beta FSD options in the United States, the company faces “sanctions civil penalties of up to $26,315 per violation per day,” with a maximum of $131,564,183 for a related series of daily violations, according to NHTSA.

The agency opened an Autopilot safety investigation in 2021 after identifying a series of crashes in which Tesla vehicles using Autopilot collided with stationary first responder vehicles and police vehicles. road works.

To date, none of Tesla’s driver assistance systems are autonomous, and the company’s cars cannot operate as robotaxis like those operated by Cruise or Waymo. Instead, Tesla vehicles require a driver behind the wheel, ready to steer or brake at a moment’s notice. The autopilot and FSD only control braking, steering and acceleration in limited circumstances.

Among other details, the Federal Vehicle Safety Authority wants information about the versions of software, hardware and other Tesla components that have been installed in every car that has been sold, leased or used in the United States for years. 2014 to 2023 models, as well as the date a Tesla vehicle was “admitted to the ‘Full-Self Driving beta’ program”.

The company’s FSD beta includes driver assistance features that have been internally tested but not fully debugged. Tesla uses its customers as software and vehicle safety testers through the FSD Beta program, rather than relying strictly on professional safety drivers, as is the industry standard.

Tesla has previously issued voluntary recalls of its cars due to issues with Autopilot and FSD Beta and promised to provide over-the-air software updates that would fix the issues.

A notice on the NHTSA website in February 2023 stated that Tesla’s FSD Beta driver assistance system may “allow the vehicle to act in unsafe ways around intersections, such as driving straight through an intersection while driving. was in a turning lane, entering an intersection controlled by a stop sign without coming to a complete stop, or entering an intersection during a solid yellow light without caution.”

According to data tracked by NHTSA, there have been 21 known collisions resulting in fatalities involving Tesla vehicles equipped with the company’s driver assistance systems, more than any other automaker offering a similar system.

According to a separate letter released Thursday, NHTSA is also considering a petition from automotive safety researcher Ronald Belt, who asked the agency to reopen an earlier investigation to determine the underlying causes of the “sudden acceleration” events. and unintentional” that have been reported to NHTSA.

During sudden, unplanned acceleration events, a driver may be parked or driving at normal speed when their car swerves forward unexpectedly, potentially resulting in a collision.

Tesla Vice President of Automotive Engineering Lars Moravy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the full letter from NHTSA at Tesla asking for many new recordings.

Correction: Tesla faces “civil penalties of up to $26,315 per violation per day,” with a maximum of $131,564,183 for a related series of daily violations, according to NHTSA. An earlier version had an incorrect number.


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