Even Tesla will tell you self-driving is not an easy nut to crack, despite being at the forefront of the technology. The National Highway Transport Safety Agency (NHTSA) has added two more crashes to the ones it is investigating. Tesla’s advanced driver assistance systems are suspected of having been involved, per reporting by CNBC.
Tesla drivers can take advantage of a standard driver assistance feature called Autopilot. However, the company sells another package with more features known as Enhanced Autopilot or Full-Self Driving for US drivers. Tesla also allows drivers to enrol in an FSD-Beta program that tests features that still need to be thoroughly debugged on public roads.
NHTSA added a Thanksgiving Day crash that involved an eight-car pile-up. A Model S triggered it after moving erratically on the San Francisco Bay Bridge last year. The driver claimed to have engaged FSD.
The second incident involved a 2020 Model 3.
Altogether, the safety agency is investigating 41 crashes involving Tesla cars. The accidents are thought to have involved automated features like auto emergency braking, Autopilot, FSD, or FSD Beta. Fourteen of them resulted in fatalities.
CEO Elon Musk promised a fully self-driving car by 2017, but that goal has been moved forward countless times. Tesla faces lawsuits over misleading the public about its Autopilot and FSD tech.
However, the company has been trying to improve safety by cracking down on Autopilot cheat devices. It is necessary as some people opt to abuse the feature, like this Ontario driver caught sleeping on the highway while the car was on Autopilot.