The federal government and state regulators are placing pressure on Tesla's Autopilot system
As a result of its Autopilot advanced driver assistance system, Tesla is under fire from federal and state regulators.A voluntary investigation of 830,000 Tesla vehicles with Autopilot was launched on Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
As a reminder for drivers to keep their eyes on the road, Tesla said the cabin camera is equipped with a driver monitoring system that detects if a driver is not paying attention and sends them noise alerts.
Tesla introduced its camera-based driver monitoring system in May last year, replacing a system that detected hands on the steering wheel.
In addition to the NHTSA investigation, the Virginia Transportation Research Council found Tesla's quarterly safety reports misleading. Tesla was accused of false advertising of Autopilot and the "full self-driving" system in late July after California's Department of Motor Vehicles accused the automaker of misleading drivers. They can use Summon or Navigate on Autopilot to navigate cars from one highway onramp to another.
The California DMV requested a hearing on Thursday to allow Tesla to present a defense against the claims that it misled prospective customers. As per the DMV's process for handling accusations, Tesla may request a hearing in order to defend itself. As a result, the DMV might discuss a settlement with Tesla, after which the Office of Administrative Hearings will conduct a hearing.
In the last few weeks, Tesla has come under increased scrutiny as the NHTSA investigates 16 crashes in which Tesla owners engaged Autopilot before colliding with stationary emergency vehicles, injuring 15 people and killing one.
As part of the NHTSA's nine-page letter, Tesla must respond by September 19 to a variety of requests — including how Tesla's cabin camera enforces driver engagement. A detailed description of how the automaker designed and engineered the system that enforces driver engagement and attention, along with the evidence to support the period of time for which the driver may not take their hands off the steering wheel before receiving a warning...”.
Additionally, NHTSA asked Tesla to identify each lawsuit involving Tesla alleging that a motor vehicle crash was caused by Autopilot, and to explain Tesla's vehicle safety report process and methodology.A separate list provided by NHTSA will contain detailed information about each incident vehicle, either from CAN logs or video clips.
Tesla has until October 12 to submit this information. NHTSA is seeking information regarding how long Autopilot was engaged, the road class at the time of impact, and the driver's behavior just before impact.The NHTSA told TechCrunch it cannot comment on open investigations, but that it regularly sends information requests.