The United States government has opened a formal investigation into American electric vehicle maker, Tesla’s, autopilot driving system following a series of collisions with standstill emergency vehicles. More than 765,000 Tesla vehicles fall within the scope of the investigation, which is the number of vehicles sold by Tesla since 2014.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identified 11 crashes since 2018, where 17 people were injured, and one person was killed.
Despite Biden’s EV push, the president is showing he’s taking a harder stance on autopilot functions to protect American drivers. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has long held the position that Tesla’s autopilot function is near perfect, and that any accidents it incurs will still be far less than if humans were driving. He has a point. Tesla’s autopilot, which isn’t meant to replace human driving but rather assist human driving, has proved far safer than manual driving. However, the US probe specifically targets the use of autopilot and its relationship to bright lights, flares, and other characteristics of parked emergency vehicles.