Accident between Tesla's “Model S” and a police vehicle (2018): how safe is the “autopilot”?
Photo: LAGUNA BEACH PD / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock
Tesla's handling of the "Autopilot" driver assistance system is increasingly being targeted by the US traffic authorities.
The regulators want to know from the electric car manufacturer why an update to prevent rear-end collisions with fire and ambulance vehicles standing on the roadside was not declared a recall.
They also have questions about tests of a new "autopilot" version with more functions by Tesla customers.
In the letter to Tesla, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) pointed out, among other things, that automakers are obliged to call a recall within five days in the event of safety-related problems.
The group is now to justify by November 1, why he waived it.
The agency has been investigating eleven incidents between January 2018 and July 2021 in which Tesla's electric cars hit parked ambulances since the summer.
According to the NHTSA, there were 17 injured and one death.
The "autopilot" system was switched on in all affected Tesla vehicles.
In September, Tesla published an update to the "Autopilot" software, thanks to which it should recognize the vehicles with their distinctive sight lights even in difficult lighting conditions.
The company itself pointed out that the “autopilot” is only a driver assistance system and that the driver must always keep their hands on the wheel and the traffic situation in view.
“Autopilot” can, for example, keep the lane and the distance to the vehicle in front.
mic / dpa-afx