Tesla probed over hands-free crashes involving emergency vehicles


Electric car maker Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is facing a formal investigation in the US of its hands-free driver system Autopilot after a series of crashes involving parked emergency vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it was looking into eleven crashes since 2018 including four this year across multiple models and had started a preliminary evaluation of Autopilot.

In all cases, Autopilot or Traffic-Aware Cruise Control was activated in the approach to the crashes, NHTSA said, adding that an estimated 765,000 Tesla vehicles registered in the US would be covered by the probe.

Most incidents took place after dark and involved emergency vehicles with vehicle lights flashing, flares, an illuminated arrow board and road cones.

NHTSA said its investigation “will assess the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist, and enforce the driver’s engagement with the dynamic driving task during Autopilot operation.”

In June, NHTSA said it had sent teams to review 30 Tesla crashes since 2016 where driver assistance was suspected of being in operation.

Shares in Tesla eased 2% to $702.35.


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