Tesla Vehicles Being Probed After Recalls Concerning Autopilot System

Tesla (TSLA) is encountering fresh obstacles concerning its Autopilot software, a pivotal component in CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a future dominated by robotaxis.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on Friday the initiation of an investigation after Tesla recalled nearly every vehicle featuring the automaker’s Autopilot advanced driver assistance systems.

Initially implemented as a software update in December, the recall encompassed over 2 million Tesla vehicles and aimed to address “driver misuse” of the system, necessitating the inclusion of features ensuring drivers remain attentive while utilizing Autopilot. NHTSA now asserts that Tesla’s corrective measures following the recall were inadequate.

According to NHTSA’s report, its Office of Defect Investigations raised concerns regarding “post-remedy crash events,” indicating instances where vehicles equipped with the updated Autopilot software were involved in accidents potentially attributable to driver inattention.

Tesla Vehicles
Tesla Vehicles Autopilot

Additionally, NHTSA highlighted Tesla’s disclosure that the recall remedy “requires the owner to opt in and allows a driver to readily reverse it.”

Furthermore, NHTSA expressed apprehensions arising not only from crash events but also from its own evaluations of “remedied vehicles.”

During its initial investigation, initiated three years ago, NHTSA identified at least 13 Tesla crashes “involving one or more fatalities and many more involving serious injuries in which foreseeable driver misuse of the system played an apparent role.”

Tesla has yet to release any statements in response to NHTSA’s latest actions.

Tesla’s challenges with its Autopilot driver assistance software and Full Self-Driving (FSD) autonomous software pose significant hurdles for a company banking on self-driving technology.

Tesla Vehicles Autopilot (Credits: Tesla)

Musk recently announced an impending reveal of a robotaxi on August 8, reaffirming his belief that a Tesla robotaxi represents the future of the company, unlocking a vast market opportunity.

The issues surrounding Autopilot, categorized as Level 2 autonomous software, raise doubts about achieving fully autonomous driving capability, classified as Level 4 and Level 5 autonomy. Rumors suggest Tesla’s robotaxi might lack a steering wheel or pedals, indicating a full Level 5 autonomy.

Even if Tesla manages to crack the challenge of fully autonomous driving, a viable solution may still be years away.

“Tesla promised all their cars would be fully autonomous eight years ago, and even though they’ve changed their approach several times during that period, many believe they still remain years away from achieving full autonomy,” remarked John Krafcik, former CEO of Google’s Waymo autonomous driving unit, in a statement to Reuters.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x