Tesla’s Assisted Driving Features are being scrutinized again.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has pressed Tesla for information on its driver-assistance systems, specifically whether some people who were testing the features were banned from reporting any potential safety concerns.
The regulator on Tuesday asked Elon Musk’s electric car business to submit information on confidentiality agreements with drivers who have been testing a new feature since October 2020 as part of a preliminary investigation launched after a string of accidents involving emergency vehicles.
Full Self-Driving (FSD) is a feature that allows automobiles to detect stop signs and turn at intersections, whereas the existing Autopilot function is mostly used to control speed and keep the vehicle in a lane.
According to reports, the confidentiality agreements “supposedly prevent the participants from disclosing information regarding FSD that portrays the feature poorly,” according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA).
To examine potential safety flaws, the agency relies in part on driver comments.
“Any arrangement that may prohibit or discourage participants in the early access beta release program from reporting safety issues to NHTSA is unacceptable,” the agency said to Tesla in a letter, giving the firm until November 1 to respond.
In a separate letter, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked Tesla to explain why it has not issued a recall despite updating its driver assistance software to increase the recognition of emergency vehicle lights at night.
Manufacturers are required to recall automobiles if safety issues are discovered, according to the NHTSA.
The government also inquired about how the business chose the drivers who began testing a new version of its self-driving technology, dubbed FSD Beta 10.2, earlier this month.
On Monday, Musk revealed on Twitter that this version was being rolled out to the safest drivers in the firm.
After a series of accidents involving electric vehicles, the Autopilot technology has been the focus of debate.
Tesla’s decision to test beta versions of new assistance capabilities with regular drivers in real-world situations without seeking official approval is stoking the debate.