WASHINGTON – The US auto safety regulator said Tuesday it has sought assistance from 12 major automakers as part of an investigation into accidents involving Tesla vehicles colliding with emergency vehicles using advanced driver assistance systems such as Autopilot.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent letters to General Motors Co., Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co., Volkswagen AG and others with questions as the agency conducts a “comparative analysis” with other “production vehicles” equipped with the capability. To control both steering and braking/accelerating at the same time under certain circumstances.
In August, NHTSA launched a formal safety investigation into the Tesla Driver Assistance System Autopilot after 12 accidents with emergency vehicles. The investigation covers 765,000 US Tesla vehicles manufactured between 2014 and 2021.
Tesla’s Autopilot handles some driving tasks and allows drivers to keep their hands off the wheel for extended periods. Tesla says that Autopilot enables vehicles within their lanes to automatically steer, accelerate and brake.
The agency asked 12 automakers to list any accidents in which an advanced driver assistance system was engaged “anytime during the 30-second period immediately preceding the start of the accident”.
The letters also ask for details on their driver assistance systems that drivers pay attention to and how they detect whether drivers are engaged. NHTSA has given some automakers till November 3 to respond and others till November 17.
NHTSA also to expand a “strategy for detecting and responding to the presence of first responder/law enforcement vehicles” to automakers.
On August 31, NHTSA sent Tesla an 11-page letter containing several questions that would need to be answered by October 22, as part of its investigation. NHTSA said it had reports of 17 people injured and one killed in 12 accidents.
Earlier this month, NHTSA confirmed that it was also investigating a fatal accident involving a 52-year-old man in New York on July 26, when he was attempting to fix a flat tire on his vehicle.
by David Shepardson
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times