The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is requesting advanced driver assistance data from 12 automakers in an attempt to expand its investigation into Tesla’s autopilot. The government is investigating a dozen incidents involving Tesla crashing into emergency vehicles.
According to Automotive News, the agency’s defect investigation office sent letters to a dozen major automakers, including Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen, asking them for information regarding their level driver assistance systems. 2, in which the vehicle can simultaneously control the steering, braking and acceleration under special circumstances.
Automakers are encouraged to provide the number of vehicles equipped with Level 2 systems that have been manufactured in the United States, along with the total number of kilometers driven with those systems enabled and a recent list of any changes or updates. NHTSA also requests customer complaints, field and accident reports, and any legal action related to Level 2 systems.
The data request comes less than two weeks after NHTSA sent an order to Tesla to provide data on the operation of its autopilot system, including details of the vehicles sold that are equipped with the autopilot as well as the system operating parameters. The agency’s investigation into Tesla could have broad implications for Tesla, which has pushed the boundaries of distributing experimental software to untrained customers in order to advance its vision of autonomous driving.
The NHTSA investigation covers approximately 765,000 Tesla vehicles released from 2014 to 2021. The agency is examining 12 crashes in which Tesla owners using the company’s autopilot features crashed into emergency vehicles stopped, causing 17 injuries and one death. Most of these incidents took place after dark, with the software ignoring the scene’s control measures, including warning lights, flares, cones and an illuminated arrow sign.
Tesla has until October 22 to submit the data. U.S. automakers like Ford, GM and Stellantis have until November 3, and all other automakers like Toyota, Subaru, Nissan and Honda have until November 17. Automakers who fail to respond could face civil penalties of up to $ 115 million.
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