Tesla’s much-maligned Autopilot software is in the spotlight again after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation after a Tesla Model 3 collided head-on with another car in California. The crash killed the driver of the other car and a three-month-old baby. NHTSA is investigating whether Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system, commonly known as Autopilot, may have been involved in the crash.
NHTSA has announced it is opening a special accident investigation into a fatal crash involving a 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric compact sedan. At the time of the accident, the EV was suspected to be relying on Autopilot. This is the latest of several investigations launched by NHTSA into Tesla’s Autopilot technology. Since 2016, more than 36 probes targeting Autopilot have been activated. The software is also suspected of being linked to 20 deaths, according to Reuters.
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Earlier in March 2023, NHTSA announced it would be investigating two fatal crashes. One of the accidents involved a 2014 Tesla Model S crashing into a fire truck. In another incident, a Tesla Model Y struck and killed a 17-year-old student as he was getting off a school bus.
Tesla’s self-driving software has been making headlines since its launch. In many cases, drivers have been found to be relying on this semi-autonomous technology, resulting in fatal crashes that resulted in the death of those in the vehicle or others. The incidents led to Autopilot being the subject of a flaw investigation by NHTSA. Tesla itself has repeatedly stated that Autopilot is not fully autonomous self-driving technology. It is a driver assistance technology that requires driver intervention.
First published date: Jul 19, 2023 09:58 AM EST