Tesla’s ‘full self-driving’ beta test has caught the attention of federal security regulators

Tesla's 'full self-driving' beta test has caught the attention of federal security regulators

Federal regulators keep their eyes peeled Tesla’s “full self-driving” test. This week, automaker Beta began testing its latest advanced driver assistance software with select customers, and so far, the government has been taking a wait-and-see approach.

In a statement, a spokesman for the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it would “closely monitor the new technology and not hesitate to take action to protect the public against unreasonable risks to safety.” This report includes some footnotes from Tesla’s decision to describe its Driver Assist feature as “self-driving” (our insistence):

As we continued, No vehicle is available for purchase today. The most advanced vehicle technologies available for purchase today provide driving assistance, and require a fully focused human driver to perform the driving task at all times and monitor the surrounding environment. Misuse of these technologies will at least distract attention. Every state in the nation is responsible for driving the safe operation of the vehicle. ”

Tesla has a verified history with the NHDSA, a federal agency that can recall and investigate car accidents. In 2019, The NHDSA opened an investigation For vehicle fire complaints connected to battery management systems on some Model S and X vehicles. The company has also investigated several fatal accidents involving autopilots. Earlier this year, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the advanced driving assistance system was one of the possible causes of a dangerous 2018 crash in which a California man was killed after his Model X crashed into a concrete barrier.

“Full Self Driving” is an 000 8,000 (soon to be $ 10,000 according to Elon Musk) option that allows Tesla owners to use the “auto pilot” function only on the highway in front of the vehicle on city and residential streets. Until the driver selects a target in the navigation, the car will stop at intersections, make left and right hand turns, and the path will change automatically.

Tesla warns drivers to keep their eyes on the road and keep their hands on the wheel at all times – however, the automaker has popularly refused to add a robust driver-monitoring system (such as infrared eye surveillance) to ensure its customers follow safety protocols. Therefore, full self-driving is only considered a Level 2 “partially automated” system. The NHTSA classifies it as an “autostear on city streets” using branding for Tesla’s lane-keep assistance feature.

Although there is now a level 5 system that does not exist anywhere in the world, Kasturi has misrepresented it as a “level 5”.

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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