Tesla Shares Plummet as US Regulator Announces Formal Investigation Into Autopilot System

It appears that the smooth ride for Tesla may be coming to an end, as US regulators have finally launched a major inquiry over the safety of the automaker’s driver assistance system.

On Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it has opened an official investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot feature, following a series of traffic incidents involving first responder scenes. Since 2018, the NHTSA has identified 11 collisions— four of which occurred this year— where Teslas struck parked emergency vehicles while either Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise were engaged, despite the scene being illuminated by road cones and flares.

The latest inquiry will affect over 765,000 of Tesla’s Model 3, X, and S, manufactured between 2014 and 2021, and 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 the event that the NHTSA determines Tesla’s self-driving system to be unsound, the regulator could force a recall of Tesla’s cars, as well as other penalties.

The NHTSA has previously expressed criticism towards the automaker over inadequate safeguards for its Autopilot. The regulator already investigated several separate incidents involving Teslas, and warned the EV maker to restrict the use of self-driving system to certain roads, as well as install better safety mechanisms to ensure the driver is aware of their surroundings while behind the wheel.

Information for this briefing was found via the NHTSA. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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