US Government Now Questioning About Elon’s Decision on Full Self-Driving Feature

In response to a tweet by Elon Musk claiming he might take away a crucial safety measure from Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) system, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contacted Tesla with inquiries. The Associated Press broke the news first. 

A spokeswoman for the NHTSA stated that the organization has contacted Tesla to get more information regarding the controversial billionaire’s tweet, in which he urged doing away with a driver monitoring feature that advises FSD users to keep their hands on the wheel. NHTSA is gathering data as part of a larger probe of Tesla’s Autopilot, which has been implicated in more than a dozen accidents with stationary emergency vehicles.

In response to a request made by Omar Qazi, a Tesla stockholder who tweets under the handle @WholeMarsBlog, on December 31st, Musk announced that Tesla would release an over-the-air software upgrade in January that would remove the driver monitoring alert. Users of the FSD Beta who have logged more than 10,000 miles should have the option to disable the “steering wheel nag,” according to Qazi. 

Experts Have Shown Safety Concerns Regarding Tesla’s FSD System

Regulators and safety experts have pleaded with Tesla for years to upgrade driver monitoring in its vehicles. Musk has even acknowledged that accidents utilizing Autopilot are the result of complacency, yet he previously rebuffed recommendations from his engineers to improve driver monitoring in the company’s vehicles. At the time, Musk called the technology “ineffective.” Currently, vehicles sold by manufacturers like General Motors and Ford have camera-based eye-tracking systems that are intended to ensure that drivers are paying attention when using hands-free driving capabilities. 

Image: Tesla

Autopilot, a driver assistance technology, is now a standard feature on all Tesla vehicles. Owners can purchase the Full Self-Driving option for $15,000 more, which Musk has repeatedly claimed will one day give Tesla owners fully autonomous capabilities. FSD is still a “Level 2” sophisticated driver-assistance system, which means the driver must remain focused on controlling the car while it is moving.

FSD gives consumers access to Autopilot’s partially automated driver-assist system on city streets and minor roads and is currently available to everyone in North America who has purchased the option. Due to complaints of FSD malfunction and other safety issues, Tesla has run into trouble with the federal government. 15 people were hurt and one person died in 16 crashes involving Tesla drivers who were using Autopilot and colliding with stationary emergency vehicles.

These crashes are being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. After the government broaden its investigation earlier this year, Tesla is now potentially facing a recall of Autopilot, FSD, or both. 


Muhammad Zuhair

Passionate about technology and gaming content, Zuhair focuses on analysing information and then presenting it to the audience.
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