According to a report by Reuters, US automobile safety regulators are probing into a Tesla car crash, potentially involving its autopilot mode, for the second time in less than a month.
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) declared on Thursday (Aug. 10) that it has initiated a unique crash investigation concerning the demise of a 57-year old Tesla owner in Virginia. The individual tragically collided with a semi truck on July 19 while trying to merge onto the highway.
Tesla was not instantly reachable for a statement regarding the investigation.
The website of the EV maker states that "active driver supervision is necessary for current Autopilot features and they do not render the vehicle autonomous." Yet, in a 2016 conversation, Musk asserted that Teslas, when switched to autopilot mode, could "operate autonomously with more safety than a human, at present."
830,000: The estimated number of Tesla's fitted with Autopilot mode since 2014, as per NHTSA's calculation.
$15,000: Extra expense for Tesla owners for the autonomous driving feature.
736: The count of accidents involving Autopilot Mode since 2019, which includes 17 fatalities, according to a recent investigation by The Washington Post.
The latest investigation arrives only a few weeks following the declaration by US regulators that they were examining a fatal car accident in California—caused by a Tesla, also believed to be in autopilot mode—which led to two fatalities, one of which was a three-month-old infant.
Indeed, since 2016, the NHTSA has initiated no less than 36 inquiries into Tesla's autonomous driving systems. The regulatory body is also engaged in another ongoing investigation of 830,000 vehicles that are using the autopilot mode of Tesla models.
Furthermore, the NHTSA declared last February that Tesla would recall 362,000 vehicles, due to worries that the autopilot might lead to fatal accidents.
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