Tesla Vehicles Investigated For Autopilot / Fist Responder Problem

On 2022-07-04 14:20:04

In August 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) started a Preliminary Evaluation (PE21-020) to investigate problems with the autopilot system in certain Tesla vehicles. This preliminary evaluation has been upgraded to an Engineering Analysis (EA) to evaluate additional similar circumstance crashes of Tesla vehicles operating with Autopilot engaged. The analysis will look at the technology and methods used to monitor, assist, and enforce the driver’s engagement during Autopilot operation.

The autopilot system in these Tesla vehicles is an SAE Level 2 automated driving system. According to the investigation report, vehicles operating with Autopilot engaged, struck stationary in-road or roadside first responder vehicles tending to preexisting collision scenes. The crashes occurred on controlled access highways where video was available for analysis. Vehicle data indicated that the approach to the first responder scene would have been visible to the driver an average of 8 seconds leading up to impact. and in many circumstances, drivers did not take evasive action between 2-5 seconds prior to impact. The data also showed that drivers had their hands on the steering wheel prior to the impact, and appeared to comply with the vehicle's driver engagement system requirements.

emergency vehicles

The vehicles under investigation include:

2018-2021 Tesla Model 3
2014-2021 Tesla Model S
2015-2021 Tesla Model X
2020-2021 Tesla Model Y