NHTSA Announces Autopilot Investigation

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Monday that it has launched an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot feature.

The pointed to 11 crashes since January 2018 where Tesla models operating on Autopilot “have encountered first responder scenes and subsequently struck one or more vehicles involved with those scenes.” The agency said the accidents caused 17 injuries and one death.

“Most incidents took place after dark and the crash scenes encountered included scene control measures such as first responder vehicle lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board, and road cones,” the investigation summary said. “The involved subject vehicles were all confirmed to have been engaged in either Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control during the approach to the crashes.”

The investigation includes about 765,000 Tesla vehicles in the U.S., applying to the entire lineup since 2014.

NHTSA said its investigation “will assess the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist, and enforce the driver’s engagement with the dynamic driving task during Autopilot operation.”

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