US authorities crack down on Autopilot

US road safety regulators are concerned about Autopilot and Full Self Driving. Tesla’s autonomous systems are now under NHTSA observation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, has opened two investigations. These are indeed two accidents involving the Autopilot, and could lead to restrictions in the use of the system.

Indeed, this is not the first time that the administration has looked into problems with the Tesla system. At the start of the year, it had investigated two subjects in particular, untimely braking and the absence of a complete stop at ‘stop’ signs.

Such decisions would put a big stop to Tesla’s semi-autonomous system. The latter is often at the center of controversy, between the absolute confidence of Elon Musk and the doubts of observers. The billionaire’s optimism on this subject was even criticized directly within the brand last year.

The NHTSA investigations thus join the fears of the NTSB, the National Transportation Safety Board. The latter has regularly sent alerts that Tesla is working without a net. The NTSB would therefore like the firm to adopt a more cautious approach, but has no authority in the matter.

“It’s generally the far west on our roads now”, said Jennifer Homendy, president of the NTSB. She considers these “experiments using inexperienced operators on 2 ton vehicles” as “a coming disaster”.

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