Tesla Autopilot investigation by NHTSA nears conclusion

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) two-year investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot system is drawing to a close. Ann Carlson, the Acting NHTSA Administrator, revealed the timeline to Reuters, saying she anticipates an announcement on the results of the investigation will happen “relatively soon”.

The NHTSA’s investigation centers on whether Autopilot was active in over a dozen instances in which Tesla vehicles collided with stationary emergency vehicles. The agency is also looking into whether Tesla’s vehicles adequately guarantee that drivers remain attentive while utilizing the driver assistance system.

As we have previously reported the NHTSA initially launched the investigation in August 2021, before upgrading it to an engineering analysis in June 2022. The investigation covers up to 830,000 Tesla vehicles, and could lead to a recall depending on the agency’s findings.

In recent weeks, the NHTSA sought up-to-date responses and data from Tesla in connection to the ongoing investigation.

While we wait for the results of the investigation, Carlson emphasized the importance of drivers paying attention while using Autopilot or any other driver assistance system.

“It’s really important that drivers pay attention. It’s also really important that driver monitoring systems take into account that humans over-trust technology,” Carlson said.

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