NHTSA requests updated data from Tesla in Autopilot probe

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has requested updated responses and current data regarding 830,000 Tesla vehicles as part of its investigation into the driver-assist Autopilot system. The agency launched their probe after a series of accidents involving Tesla vehicles colliding with stationary emergency vehicles.

The NHTSA is also investigating whether Tesla vehicles adequately ensure driver attention while using the advanced driver assistance system.

In a letter dated July 3, NHTSA demanded Tesla’s prompt response by July 19, seeking updates on questions originally posed in August 2022. The agency’s primary focus is on Autopilot’s effectiveness and its ability to engage drivers appropriately. It noted that in previous crashes, many Tesla vehicles showed little to no driver engagement or alerts until moments before a collision occurred.

This latest move by NHTSA follows its decision in June 2022 to upgrade the initial probe, opened in August 2021, to an engineering analysis, a step required before considering a potential recall. The agency has previously requested information from Tesla regarding the cabin camera that detects driver inattentiveness and provides audible alerts when Autopilot is engaged.

The newly released letter from NHTSA also seeks specific data on the number of vehicles equipped with Tesla Vision, which relies on the vehicle’s cameras rather than radar, and whether these vehicles feature the cabin camera system.

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