Tesla Crash Investigators Slam Autopilot Deficiencies, Lack Of U.S. Rules For ‘Partially Automated’ Cars
US safety investigators have been analyzing four different accidents occurring in Tesla cars in which drivers were using the company’s Autopilot feature. The accidents are highly critical of the system’s technical limitations and highlight the Transportation Department’s failure to enact laws for these partially automated driving systems. One of the accidents involved the death of the Tesla Model X owner Walter Huang, who crashed when his vehicle drove straight into a traffic barrier in California. Huang was allegedly relying on Autopilot completely, playing a game on his phone at the time.
NTSB has determined that Autopilot lacks the ability to monitor when drivers are paying attention, although it is critical that drivers are attentive to their surroundings even when using the technology. Investigators also concluded that the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration failed to prevent accidents by ignoring requests to set rules for Autopilot and such systems.