Friday, July 12, 2024

Tesla faces criminal investigation for Full Self Driving claims

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Tesla is currently under investigation in the United States (US) over claims its electric vehicles are self-driving.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) launched an investigation after the number of reported accidents caused by self-driving. Some of these fatal accidents are thought to have involved Tesla’s Autopilot software system.

Launching Reuters, in 2016 Tesla has demonstrated the ability of a self-driving system called Autopilot. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even said that Autopilot might be better at driving than humans.

Last week, Musk said they would soon upgrade to full self-driving software that would allow drivers to travel to work, home and supermarkets without touching the steering wheel.

Even though they can drive themselves, the Austin-based company still warns drivers that they must keep their hands on the steering wheel in order to stay in control of the vehicle when they are on Autopilot.

“Tesla technology is designed to help steer, brake, speed and stay on track. but the features don’t make the vehicle autonomous,” Tesla said, quoted by Reuters on Friday, October 28, 2022.

Musk said in an interview with Automotive News in 2020 that the Autopilot problem stems from drivers using Autopilot in a way contrary to Tesla’s instructions.

The DOJ investigation could potentially represent a more serious level of scrutiny due to possible criminal charges against the company or individual executives.

In August 2021 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into a series of accidents involving Tesla’s Autopilot software, one of which was a Tesla car crashing into an emergency parked vehicle on a freeway.

NHTSA last June intensified their investigation which included 830,000 Teslas on Autopilot. They found 16 accidents involving Tesla electric cars and other vehicles.

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