Tesla Is Being Probed Over Autopilot Crashes With Emergency Vehicles
Tesla might seem to be supremely confident in its Autopilot self-driving technology, but it isn’t perfect.
To that point, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reportedly opened a probe into the software, citing its ability to crash into parked emergency vehicles as the reason.
According to a report by The Verge, the investigation will cover Models Y, X, S, and 3 vehicles released from 2014 through 2021.
The federal agency says since 2018 it has logged 11 incidents (which include 17 injuries and one fatality) in which Tesla vehicles using the company’s Autopilot features, like Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, have crashed into stationary emergency vehicles. The agency says most of these incidents took place after dark, with the software ignoring scene control measures including warning lights, flares, cones, and an illuminated arrow board.
A spokesperson for the agency says that the probe is still in its preliminary stages, with the aim being to find out additional information about the collisions that Tesla vehicles have been having with parked vehicles.
Tesla believes that its Autopilot feature is safe, but does tell its drivers that they need to remain with their hands on the wheel and ready to take over when needed. Unfortunately, it’s increasingly clear that doesn’t happen enough.