Government sends letters to 12 automakers after beginning with Tesla's Autopilot system.

Posted in Investigations

Level 2 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Investigated
Government sends letters to 12 automakers after beginning with Tesla's Autopilot system.

— Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) of 12 automakers are being looked at to compare the results from a Tesla Autopilot investigation opened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The 12 automakers are BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Stellantis (Chrysler), Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen.

NHTSA opened a federal investigation into more than 700,000 Tesla vehicles in August after several crashes that allegedly occurred when Autopilot was engaged.

Safety regulators say they want to figure out why at least 12 crashes have been reported after Tesla vehicles crashed into emergency vehicles such as firetrucks and police cars.

Obviously the Tesla drivers had no clue what was going on because none of the drivers took any evasive actions to avoid the emergency vehicles. But NHTSA wants to learn why the vehicle safety systems ignored not only the emergency vehicles, but also active emergency lights, road flares and road cones.

NHTSA sent letters to 12 automakers to gather information about any of their vehicles that have the ability to control steering, braking and accelerating simultaneously under some circumstances.

The government calls this a Level 2 ADAS which still requires a human driver to remain completely engaged with the task of driving, something some Tesla drivers seem to ignore.

NHTSA asked the automakers to provide details about how their Level 2 systems operate, including any "environmental, geographical, and time-of-day restrictions, and/or the requisite presence or absence of certain traffic or roadway characteristics."

Federal regulators also want to know about how the systems operate related to driver monitoring, meaning how the systems confirm drivers are paying attention when the systems are engaged.

NHTSA also wants all the automakers to provide details about crash incidents that occurred when the advanced driver assistance systems were activated at any time for a period beginning 30 seconds before a crash.


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