Federal regulators investigating Tesla Autopilot crashes

Federal regulators investigating Tesla Autopilot crashes
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The U.S. government has opened a formal investigation into Tesla’s partially automated Autopilot system after a series of crashes with emergency vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Monday in an advisory announcing the probe that it identified 11 instances since 2018 of Teslas hitting parked vehicles with flashing lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board or road cones.

All vehicles had Autopilot or cruise control active before the crashes, according to the agency.

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The investigation will cover Tesla Models Y, X, S, and 3 vehicles released from 2014 through 2021.

Tesla’s Autopilot technology has come under increased scrutiny from regulators after a series of accidents and misuses.

The National Transportation Safety Board has investigated some of the crashes, but has no authority to force changes. It has recommended limiting when and where Autopilot can be used.

While Tesla’s system still requires human oversight, the company has been criticized for seeming to advertise Autopilot as a fully hands-off experience.

The Hill has reached out to Tesla for comment on the NHTSA probe.

--Updated at 4:17 p.m.