The NHTSA says it is "working really fast" on its investigation into Tesla's driver assistance tech.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is "working really fast" on its investigation into Tesla Autopilot crashes, said its acting head. "We're investing a lot of resources," said Ann Carlson, adding, "The resources require a lot of technical expertise, actually some legal novelty, and so we're moving as quickly as we can, but we also want to be careful and make sure we have all the information we need."
An ongoing inquiry first opened in August 2021 has only grown as time has passed and more incidents have been recorded. Sadly, many of these crashes have resulted in fatalities, which is why the NHTSA is taking its time to ensure it has enough understanding of the issues before taking matters further.
According to Reuters, the NHTSA "is reviewing whether Tesla vehicles adequately ensure drivers are paying attention." In the past, the NHTSA said that its evidence suggested most drivers involved in these crashes had taken correct note of Tesla's alert urging the driver to stay focused on driving the car.
However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk once again raised eyebrows on Twitter. On December 31, a tweet from a Tesla user suggested that Tesla's so-called Full Self-Driving (FSD) system should be able to run without the "steering wheel nag" if a driver has covered more than 10,000 miles using FSD. The "nag" is an alert that tells drivers to keep hold of the steering wheel to confirm that they're concentrating on driving. Musk responded: "Agreed, update coming in Jan."
Carlson confirmed that the NHTSA was in talks with Tesla about Musk's controversial response to the tweet.
The NHTSA is also investigating crashes with parked emergency vehicles with an engineering analysis.
In October last year, Reuters uncovered that the US Department of Justice had launched its own probe into Autopilot crashes. Not long after, The Wall Street Journal published a report stating that the automaker was being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Hopefully, the NHTSA will provide its conclusions on its numerous investigations soon. Moreover, we hope that stricter regulation comes soon. In the meantime, it's a game of roulette on the roads.
For Tesla, the sooner this federal investigation ends, the sooner it can focus on its facelift for the Model 3, its launch of the Cybertruck, and its rollout of the Semi.