Category: General|Aug 18, 2021 | Author: Admin

Tesla investigated after a series of crashes: "Uses public road to experiment with self-driving cars"

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The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into Tesla's Autopilot. Eleven crashes with parked first aid vehicles have resulted in 17 injuries and one death since 2018.

Crashes in the dark

 

Most of the events have taken place after dark. The crash scenes have included control measures such as first aid cars with blue lights, luminous directional arrows and mounted cones. The vehicles involved are all confirmed to have activated either Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control.

 

The Office of Defects Investigation's preliminary investigation is centered on Autopilot in models Y, X, S, and 3 from 2014 to 2021. It includes around 765,000 Teslas. The accidents took place between January 2018 and July this year.

The driver has the main responsibility
Autopilot keeps the car centered in the lane and maintains speed when active in its “Operational Design Domain” (ODD).

 

However, it is not a fully self-driving system. The driver still has the main responsibility for "Object and Event Detection and Response" (OEDR); that is, to identify and react to obstacles, vehicles, and "unfavorable maneuvers" by other drivers.

Autopilot has often been abused by drivers who are caught driving while intoxicated and also having been in the back seat while rolling down the highway.

 

The investigation will also assess OEDR for vehicles in Autopilot mode and ODD where Autopilot mode is functional. It will also investigate contributing circumstances and similar accidents.

 

Want stricter regulations
In 2016, NHTSA investigated and acquitted Tesla of the first Autopilot-related death.

 

Since then, the agency has investigated dozens of incidents in which Autopilot has been involved. NHTSA has ordered automakers to report incidents involving semi- or fully autonomous driving systems within 24 hours of becoming aware of them.

 

Earlier this year, the National Transportation Safety Board urged NHTSA to draft stricter regulations for autonomous driving and referred to Tesla:

 

Tesla recently rolled out a beta of the Level 2 Autopilot that is claimed to have full self-driving capability. By releasing the system, Tesla uses the public road to experiment under limited supervision and reporting requirements.

 

The radar is removed in favor of cameras
Tesla uses a camera-based system, computing power, and sometimes radar to decide how the car should behave. The radar has been plagued by "false positive" signals and Tesla is removing it in favor of cameras. The system must have had problems with parked emergency vehicles and perpendicular trucks.

 

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