US will look into Tesla's Autopilot technology

by Wall Street Rebel | Michael London | 08/16/2021 12:18 PM
US will look into Tesla's Autopilot technology

One critical issue that the investigators will look at is how Autopilot ensures that Tesla drivers are paying attention to the road while operating the car.

 

Before we get started, it's important to note that none of the existing Tesla driver assistance technologies, such as Autopilot or Full Self-Driving, is really driverless.

They need the driver's complete concentration and the use of both hands on the steering wheel at all times.

This is particularly essential since the system may sometimes make unexpected lane changes that were not anticipated, making it necessary to keep one's hands on the steering wheel to identify and correct these movements.

With its dynamic cruise control, lane centering (Autosteer), traffic control management, and automated lane changes, Tesla's autopilot outperforms other cars equipped with autopilot on highways and in cities, marking a substantial advance over the competition.

For Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability to be effective, they must be used in conjunction with a vigilant driver who keeps their hands on the steering wheel and is ready to take over at any time.

Even though these functions are intended to grow more competent over time, the presently enabled elements do not make the car autonomous.

 

Tesla’s Plea For Safety.

Autopilot advanced safety and convenience features are designed to assist you with the most burdensome parts of driving. Autopilot introduces new features and improves existing functionality to make your Tesla safer and more capable over time.

Autopilot enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane.

Current Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.

Autopilot advanced safety and convenience features are designed to assist you with the most burdensome parts of driving. Autopilot introduces new features and improves existing functionality to make your Tesla safer and more capable over time.

Autopilot enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane.

Current Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.

Navigate on Autopilot suggests lane changes to optimize your route and makes adjustments, so you don’t get stuck behind slow cars or trucks. When active, Navigate on Autopilot will also automatically steer your vehicle toward highway interchanges and exits based on your destination.

Tesla's Autopilot driver-assistance system is the subject of an official inquiry by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, investigating increasing fears that the system may fail to detect parked emergency cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that it was aware of 11 crashes involving Tesla vehicles operating under Autopilot control that occurred between 2018 and 2019. The vehicles collided with fire trucks, police cars, and other vehicles with flashing lights stopped along highways.

According to the report, seven of the collisions resulted in a total of 17 injuries and one fatality.

As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted in a summary of the investigation, “the majority of the incidents occurred after dark, and the crash scenes encountered included scene control measures such as first-responder vehicle lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board, and road cones.”

According to initial reports, the latest study seems to be the most comprehensive examination to date of how Autopilot works and how it may be faulty.

Finally, it may be used by the safety agency to compel Tesla to recall vehicles and make improvements to its systems.

One important problem that investigators will look at is how Autopilot guarantees that Tesla drivers are paying attention to the road while using the vehicle.

In spite of the fact that drivers are instructed to keep their hands on the steering wheel, however, the system continues to function even if they just periodically touch the wheel on the dashboard.

In a similar vein, General Motors has developed a technology dubbed Super Cruise that enables drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel while also using an infrared camera to monitor their eyes to verify that they are looking at the road ahead.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will also look at how Autopilot recognizes things on the road and where Autopilot may be activated.

Yet, Tesla advises drivers to use the system exclusively on split highways; however, they are permitted to utilize it on city streets.

With the use of GPS location, General Motors' technology is only allowed to be used on major highways where there is no oncoming or cross traffic, no junctions, no pedestrians, or no bicycles.

Autopilot seems to have difficulties recognizing and braking for parked vehicles in general, including private automobiles and trucks that do not have flashing headlights.

Earlier this year, a Tesla slammed into a parked sport-utility vehicle at the scene of a previous collision, for example.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver had Autopilot turned on when he fell asleep, and he subsequently failed a sobriety check.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's inquiry will look at the Tesla Models Y, X, S, and 3 from the 2014 to 2021 model years, totaling 765,000 vehicles, accounting for a significant majority of the vehicles the firm produced in the United States during that time period.

The National Transportation Safety Board has already started investigations into more than two dozen accidents involving Tesla vehicles with Autopilot.

According to the organization, eight of the collisions resulted in ten deaths on the road.

Those investigations are intended to dig into the specifics of particular incidents to offer data and insights that the agency and manufacturers may use to enhance safety or identify issue areas.

Safety concerns regarding Autopilot have been rejected by Tesla and its chief executive, Elon Musk, who has stated that the technology makes Tesla vehicles safer than other vehicles on the road.

However, the firm has admitted that the system may sometimes fail to identify emergency vehicles that have come to a complete stop.

Some of the shortcomings of Autopilot have been recorded by safety experts, recordings uploaded on social media, and Tesla drivers themselves.

Several Tesla drivers have been discovered sleeping at the wheel in accidents using the system or awake but preoccupied or disengaged, in other incidents utilizing the system.

In May, a California man was detained after he left the driver's seat of his Tesla while it was operating on Autopilot. He was sitting in the rear of his vehicle as it crossed the Bay Bridge, which links San Francisco and Oakland when he was apprehended.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which has looked into a couple of accidents involving Autopilot, concluded last year that the company's "ineffective monitoring of driver engagement" contributed to the death of Wei Huang, the driver of a Tesla Model X that collided with a highway barrier in Mountain View, Calif., in 2018.

Drivers in any partly automated vehicle should no longer be allowed to claim that they are driving driverless vehicles, according to Robert L. Sumwalt, the board's chairman, who said last year.

 

                     U.S. launches investigation into Tesla's autopilot

 

 

 

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