NHTSA opens investigation after multiple incidents involving Teslas and emergency vehicles

Was self-driving tech a factor in these mishaps?
by Drei Laurel | Aug 18, 2021
PHOTO: Tesla

Tesla is set to undergo scrutiny from US safety regulatory bodies yet again following multiple road mishaps involving the electric car brand’s models and responding emergency vehicles.

According to a report by Reuters, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified 11 such incidents since 2018 and has formally opened a probe into the manufacturer’s self-driving tech to determine why these Teslas crashed into first responders. Most of these incidents occurred at night, and have resulted in 17 injuries and one death.

Around 765,000 Tesla units in the US equipped with Autopilot will be part of the probe. The report adds that following the investigation, the NHTSA “could opt to take no action, or it could demand a recall, which might effectively impose limits on how, when, and where Autopilot operates.”

That last possibility could potentially be the biggest blow to Tesla’s struggle to implement its self-driving tech on US roads. The NHTSA probed Autopilot back in 2017, but took no action—a decision that the Reuters report says came under scrutiny.

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Tesla shares have dropped 4.3% since this development. Reuters has reached out to the brand for comment but has yet to receive one.

By the looks of it, self-driving tech still has a long way to go before authorities can rest easy with even partially autonomous cars out on the road. How do you think the NHTSA’s latest investigation will turn out? Let us know in the comments.

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PHOTO: Tesla
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