NTSB head says Tesla must address ‘fundamental safety points’ with semi-autonomous features

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Tesla is not about to get a sympathetic ear from US regulators because it rolls out extra semi-autonomous know-how. New National Transportation Safety Board head Jennifer Homendy instructed The Wall Street Journal in an interview that Tesla must sort out “basic safety issues” earlier than it expands features like Autopilot and Full Self Driving to extra elements of the street. She additionally wasn’t thrilled with Tesla beta-testing upgrades on public streets.

Like different critics, the NTSB chief took problem with Tesla’s naming schemes for its driver assists. The Full Self Driving label is “misleading and irresponsible,” Homendy mentioned, main some to “misuse and abuse” it. Despite its identify, the present FSD bundle solely permits restricted autonomy in some conditions, and requires drivers to be able to take the wheel at any second. Tesla finally hopes for true autonomy to allow robotaxis and different hands-off makes use of, however hasn’t but demonstrated such a system.

Tesla and its chief Elon Musk have lengthy argued that Autopilot (and by extension FSD) is total safer than full guide management regardless of issues over crashes the place the know-how was concerned. The automaker has used FSD betas as a method to enhance semi-autonomous features by real-world use, not simply the perfect circumstances of a closed circuit.

Homendy’s remarks will not essentially result in insurance policies meant to restrict or ban Tesla’s know-how. However, it does set the tone for the NTSB’s strategy to Tesla throughout the Biden administration. The company won’t be receptive to Tesla’s autonomous driving technique, significantly if there’s a rise in collisions.

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