Tesla is under investigation amid fears that flashing lights from emergency vehicles are confusing its electric cars’ Autopilot system and triggering crashes. Tesla is under investigation amid fears that flashing lights from emergency vehicles are confusing its electric cars’ Autopilot system and triggering crashes.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it would probe almost a dozen crashes involving Autopilot, the software that regulates a car’s speed and lane positioning. Regulators have identified 11 crashes in which Tesla cars using Autopilot “have encountered first responder scenes and subsequently struck one or more vehicles involved with those scenes”.
In one case in California last month, a Tesla car sped through a road closure into an empty police car. In another crash in Michigan, a Tesla hit a police car with its emergency lights on after an officer had stopped to investigate a collision.
Tesla’s Model 3 was the UK’s best selling car in three separate months last year, and the company installs its Autopilot software on all new vehicles.
While it is described as a “driver assistance” system, requiring motorists to maintain ultimate control of a vehicle, the Autopilot system has been criticised for allowing reckless driving.