The NHTSA is still investigating.
Tesla is continuously pushing the boundaries in terms of automotive technologies. Its autopilot system has stunned us and has caused quite a stir on the internet, and the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck is set to revolutionize the pickup truck game, but sometimes the California-based company can go too far. We're talking of course about the brand's strange new steering wheel setup that some believe is preparing drivers for a fully autonomous future.
The steering wheel comes as an optional extra on the refreshed Model S and Model X, and looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. The NHTSA was recently investigating the new wheel and has now released a new statement regarding its stance on the matter.
Tesla's new yoke steering wheel setup has raised a few eyebrows, but European countries such as the Netherlands don't seem to have any issue with it. Previously the NHTSA had stated that it "cannot determine if the steering wheel meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards''.
In its latest statement, the organization remains vague about the future of the odd-shaped wheel: "NHTSA is aware of the recently launched Tesla steering yoke in certain Model S vehicles. We requested and received information from Tesla about the steering yoke and we remain actively engaged with the company during our review. NHTSA routinely engages with auto manufacturers and suppliers to better understand the new technologies and features they develop and introduce to the U.S. fleet." it said in a statement to Teslarati.
According to the NHTSA's FMVSS, (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) Tesla has the right to determine whether or not any new equipment will meet FMVSS standards in-house using its own methods of analysis, but at the end of the day, the NHTSA always gets the final word.
The yoke steering wheel does away with turn signal stalks and will apparently use AI to determine when to indicate. This small controversy comes in the wake of Tesla's announcement that it will soon implement its full self-driving tech, which promises to make autopilot look like a blindfolded chimp driving a tank. We think the new steering wheel design looks cool, but await the final word from the powers that be.