Tesla Under INVESTIGATION for This!

Tesla is under pressure from Federal highway safety investigators to reveal why and how it developed a fix deployed to more than 2 million vehicles outfitted with Telsa’s “Autopilot” partial self-driving system in a recent recall.

Investigators working for the US NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) said that, in light of reports submitted by Tesla involving twenty crashes since the software path was issued in December, they are concerned about whether the fix worked as intended.

Before the patch was issued, the Autopilot did not adequately warn drivers about the dangers of engaging the system when traveling on roads other than limited-access highways. The update provides extra layers of warning and encourages users to disallow Autopilot functionality when in these more chaotic environments, which feature obstacles such as cross-traffic, intersections, and pedestrians.

The NHTSA posted to its website on Tuesday a letter it had previously sent to Tesla, wherein the agency warns the automaker that it could not detect a difference between the warnings previously encouraging drivers to pay attention that were displayed before the software patch, and warnings issued by the new software. The agency stated in the letter that it intends to review the adequacy of the driver warnings, and especially whether those warnings are sufficiently stringent when the view from the camera which monitors the driver is obstructed.

The agency also requested information and documentation about Tesla’s development procedure for the fix, especially that which concerned how it employed human behavior in testing the effectiveness of the recall patch.

Phil Koopman, who studies automated driving safety from his professorial seat at Carnegie Mellon University, complained that the letter shows how the recall did little of substance to solve the safety problems associated with the Autopilot feature. Instead, the software patch was, in his estimation, a transparent attempt to pacify NHTSA investigators, who had demanded the recall after investigating the matter for over two years.