The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has sent a team to investigate if a Tesla vehicle involved in a California incident that killed three people was using a partially automated driving system.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated on Wednesday that it had deployed a special crash investigation team to the Pacific Coast Highway crash in Newport Beach on May 12.
The probe is part of the agency’s comprehensive inquiry into crashes involving driver assistance systems like Tesla’s Autopilot. Since 2016, the agency has dispatched teams to 34 crashes when the systems were either active or suspected of being active. According to an NHTSA, a document released Wednesday shows that 28 of the 34 crashes involved Tesla vehicles.
In addition to these collisions, the NHTSA is investigating Teslas on Autopilot colliding with emergency vehicles parked along highways and Autopilot braking for no apparent reason.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires automakers to disclose any crashes on public roads utilising fully autonomous vehicles or those with partially automated driver aid systems in June. The partially automatic devices can maintain a car centred in its lane and a safe distance ahead of it. According to the NHTSA, the data can reveal whether there are any common patterns in crashes involving the devices.
Tesla advises drivers who use Autopilot and its “Full Self-Driving” technology that the car cannot drive itself and that drivers must always be ready to intervene.
It’s unconfirmed whether Autopilot or FSD were used in this recent terrible accident, but they almost probably were based on the NHTSA’s comments.
Requests for comment from Tesla have fallen on deaf ears.