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Blog NHTSA Announces Another Autopilot Investigation

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Friday that they are investigating a July 26 fatal crash in New York involving a Tesla with Autopilot engaged.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) spokeswoman told Reuters that the agency has launched a Special Crash Investigation team to analyze the death of a 52-year-old man attempting to fix a flat tire on his vehicle on the Long Island Expressway when he was struck by a Tesla.

NHTSA continues to ramp up scrutiny of Tesla’s Autopilot system.

The agency announced last month that it is investigating 12 crashes involving Tesla models and emergency vehicles.

Reuters notes that NHTSA has opened 33 investigations into Tesla crashes involving 11 deaths since 2016, in which use of advanced driver assistance systems was suspected.

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Supporting Member
May 30, 2021
Long Island NY
Because those brands you mention don’t have auto steer and drivers forced to steer themselves so they can’t blame adaptive cruise if they hit some one stopped on the hwy. Do you see how many people use weights on their steering wheel in Teslas? Honestly they should lose auto pilot for life if they get caught using it. Plus all the others who don’t pay attention to the road and look for something on the back seat while on AP. Tesla should activate cabin cams for everyone ASAP to avoid Darwin Award drivers spoiling it for every one else!
People should be held accountable for their actions.
I’ve somewhat resigned myself that we are gonna lose it. I’m saddened because I think I use it responsibly and it makes me a more alert safer driver. But there are so many Teslas outs there that sheer numbers are going to produce a handful of these kinds of accidents that grab headlines and nhtsa scrutiny.


Active Member
Jul 8, 2021
You are so right! I think those who use FSD must take a nap and think they have no responsibility for what happens! I don't have FSD engaged, but once I got really sleepy and the car neared the lane marker and the steering wheel vibrated, which made me fully alert. Thank you, Tesla, for probably saving my life. We have to be awake and be alert always!


You are so right! I think those who use FSD must take a nap and think they have no responsibility for what happens! I don't have FSD engaged, but once I got really sleepy and the car neared the lane marker and the steering wheel vibrated, which made me fully alert. Thank you, Tesla, for probably saving my life. We have to be awake and be alert always!
I'm doing some long drives in a rental 2021 Ford F-150 right now with Lane Keeping technology and it'll actually warn me when it thinks I'm getting fatigued, based on how well I stay between the lane lines, and will tell me that I should pull over to rest.
The truly stupid thing is that all Tesla probably has to do is a dumb name change to something like “Tesla-Pilot” and this problem goes away. Like others have said here, the system on other cars is so much worse that you are always paying attention. My Volvo would veer dangerously to one side all the time, so much so that I was more stressed using it than not. Ironically, it was called a Pilot-Assist system, so clearly “Auto” is the bad word here smh.
Crazy idea: call it adaptive cruise control with steer assist. So much time and tax dollars would be saved. Then, call FSD Tesla Level 2 driving.


Electrified Engineer
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2021
Why pilot? Isnt pilot for airplanes?
cars need a driver.
boats need navigator.
Racecar drivers are commonly referred to as 'pilots' among themselves.
Airplane pilots are commonly referred to as 'drivers' among their community, especially military.

The terms are fungible.
The word "pilot" was, for many centuries, a reference to the one who steers the ship. And still is. The pilot-house is where the primary steering controls are installed.

It is a maritime term later adopted into the aviation lexicon.

A navigator is an expert in charts and navigation, and provides information to the captain of the vessel. The captain may commonly also be the pilot in an airplane, but typically not so on a large seaship.


Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
Syracuse, NY
Is that really the case though? Do other brands also run into stopped emergency vehicles and other vehicles on the shoulder? I've heard some people on this forum say that their Subaru / Toyota / etc. works so much better than AP and would stop for stopped cars.

I'd like to believe it's BS, but I don't have much experience with other brands, and there very few examples of their performance on the internet (perhaps because they aren't used as much as AP).

Perhaps what's going on is similar to the phenomenon Google encountered when testing their autonomous vehicles. As the system got better, people actually started to pay less attention. With other brands, the performance is a lot worse than AP, so the driver is paradoxically more attentive.
So you're telling me that if a vehicle was stepping in to the lane a little parked on the shoulder, the other systems would swerve left to avoid said car or person. I don't buy it. Those people probably never had a similar event happen.
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Possible silver lining ??

We could get a statistical analyst of Tesla vehicles from (2014 is that the start date)
- also show improvements over time (read: accident & injury -- I assume these are improving, data could help reveal this)

Sadly I have small faith in these agencies to do proper work. Perhaps the auto insurance industry could conduct? or a University?


Active Member
Jul 8, 2021
I am curious what happens with this. Hoping it doesn’t turn into disabling autopilot if they judge dangerous and want Tesla to do a recall until its so called fixed for hitting parked cars with flashing lights.

Some have said because of disclaimer for drivers to pay attention at all times that nothing with happen with this, but IDK im fearing something more could happen.
the 'disclaimer' is just a fan dance.
The Media and Users bragging on social media have embedded the popular notion that it's technology that's ready for the masses and enables FSD.
Even if it doesn't, and shouldn't\, that's the way people behave.
Consequently, it's likely a ruling will hit Tesla pretty hard. And the politics will be encouraged because.....non-union, no advertising spend, and industry leader taken to task.
In short, PAY UP TESLA. Then we might let you live.
Remember Obama? "We LET YOU do that".
Government is IN CHARGE. Just like the Mafia.
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