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NHTSA Investigating Tesla's Autopilot Feature


January 09, 2020

USA- Mercurynews.com writes that Tesla's autopilot has been a potential factor in eleven collisions so far, and investigators believe that a recent crash could be the twelfth. Late last week, a Tesla Model 3 struck a parked police car. The incident occurred in Connecticut, and a special investigation into the incident is currently underway. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is sending representatives to the site to learn what happened.*

Since 2016, Tesla’s autopilot technology was in use during three fatal accidents. 

Tesla’s automated driving features have caused controversy in part because some have accused the company of overstating the technology’s abilities and giving drivers a false sense of security with the systems. 

Tesla reintroduced its “Full Self-Driving" features, which can navigate interchanges on highways, change lanes and take exits. The company says that soon, the cars will be capable of driving through a parking lot to find their driver. Many other automated features are standard on the company's vehicles already. These include blind-spot warnings, automatic emergency braking, forward and side collision warnings, and lane departure warnings.  However, Tesla cautions that drivers need to constantly monitor the vehicle's operations when using the self-driving features, which calls into question whether Tesla's self-driving features should be used at all.

A study from AAA indicated that about 40 percent of Americans believe that these types of vehicles are capable of driving themselves. This misunderstanding can lead to devastating crashes because many drivers overestimate the abilities of the new technology.

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Sources:https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/12/13/nhtsa-looking-into-12th-tesla-crash-possible-linked-to-autopilot/ and https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/28/18245370/tesla-autopilot-full-self-driving-musk-2019

Category: Auto Accidents

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