In the last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States, the NHTSA, opened several proceedings against Tesla’s autonomous driving system after detecting patterns of misbehavior in various accidents where emergency vehicles were involved. Up to 11 different events are being studied and that could lead to the withdrawal of the Tesla FSD package from the market.
Although we already knew of the open proceedings regarding the multiple registered accidents, the NHTSA has announced today that it is taking another step in the investigation. Through an update, the safety agency has stated that it plans to continue evaluating the safety of vehicles and technologies. participating in the autonomous driving package to explore the extent to which autopilot and associated systems may exacerbate human factors or behavioral safety risks by undermining the effectiveness of driver monitoring.
Such a string of terms and descriptions does not mean anything else that the proceedings are still open and the investigation is expanding in order to have all the data on the table to provide a definitive assessment. Nevertheless, many experts point out that we are one step closer to the safety withdrawal of Tesla’s autonomous driving package. The well-known FSD Beta package that has just received the most important update to date, the well-known version 10.13.
In addition to the 11 previous collisions that had led to the opening of the investigation, the NHTSA has acknowledged five other accidents that could have been related with malpractice on the part of the autonomous driving system:
January 2022 – Desert Center, CA
· September 2021 – Petaluma. THAT
· August 2021 – Orlando, Florida
April 2021 – Belmont, California
· January 2021 – Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
November 2020 – Houston, Texas
It has been made clear on numerous occasions that Tesla Autopilot is not a full autonomous driving program, but rather a package of level 2 assistants. Multiple investigations have shown that accidents have been caused by a lack of attention on the part of of the driver. Nonetheless, Tesla could be in a bind if the NHTSA finally acknowledges that the company has an inefficient driver engagement strategy.. In that case we could also be talking about a possible withdrawal from the market.