Tesla to remote patch 2M vehicles after damning Autopilot safety probe

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The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) investigation into information risks associated pinch Tesla's Autopilot person concluded pinch a callback of much than 2 cardinal vehicles, pinch nan agency determining Autopilot's information controls are "insufficient to forestall misuse." 

Some 2012-2023 Tesla Model S vehicles equipped pinch each versions of Autosteer were included successful the recall [PDF], on pinch "all" Model X, 3 and Y vehicles manufactured, respectively, betwixt 2016, 2017 and 2020 to nan present. The NHTSA estimated that 100 percent of Teslas are affected, totaling 2,031,220 vehicles. 

"In definite circumstances erstwhile Autosteer is engaged, and nan driver does not support work for conveyance cognition and is unprepared to intervene arsenic basal aliases fails to admit erstwhile Autosteer is canceled aliases not engaged, location whitethorn beryllium an accrued consequence of a crash," nan NHTSA said [PDF]. 

The package callback brings an extremity to a two-year probe by nan NHTSA that began successful 2021 aft a number of highly-publicized accidents, including respective involving Teslas pinch Autopilot activated hitting emergency vehicles connected nan broadside of highways. 

The NHTSA upgraded its investigation to an engineering study past twelvemonth aft uncovering reasons to judge "Autopilot and associated Tesla systems whitethorn exacerbate quality factors aliases behavioral information risks by undermining nan effectiveness of nan driver's supervision," nan agency said successful 2022. 

After reviewing 956 crashes wherever Autopilot was alleged to person been successful use, 322 merited peculiar focus, and nan NHTSA appears to person concluded that its first suspicions were correct.

"In definite circumstances erstwhile Autosteer is engaged, nan prominence and scope of nan feature's controls whitethorn not beryllium capable to forestall driver misuse of nan SAE Level 2 precocious driver-assistance feature," nan NHTSA said successful a missive to Tesla confirming receipt of its information recall. The NHTSA didn't respond to questions for this story. 

SAE level 2 systems require drivers to support attention. Tesla has been accused of misleading buyers of nan capabilities of its Autopilot precocious driver assistance strategy (ADAS) done its sanction and nan company's usage of Full Self Driving (FSD) arsenic nan sanction for a much precocious variant. 

Tesla said it didn't concur pinch nan NHTSA's findings, but connected December 5 decided to rumor a voluntary callback "in nan liking of resolving" nan investigation.  

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An update to Autopilot package will beryllium delivered to affected vehicles "on aliases soon aft December 12," Tesla said successful its callback announcement to nan NHTSA. The callback will  "incorporate further controls and alerts to those already existing connected affected vehicles to further promote nan driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility," Tesla said. 

Additional controls, which will alteration based connected disposable conveyance hardware, whitethorn see much salient ocular alerts, a simpler method of engaging and disengaging Autopilot, further checks erstwhile utilizing nan characteristic "outside of controlled entree highways" and suspension of Autopilot if nan driver "repeatedly fails to show continuous and sustained driving responsibility." 

This is nan 2nd Autopilot callback Tesla has issued this year, pinch different OTA update issued successful February aft nan NHTSA said Autopilot had a inclination to "act unsafe astir intersections" and disregard changes successful velocity limits. 

The Register has asked Tesla for remark connected this story, but hasn't heard back.

While nan investigation has concluded, nan NHTSA said it will time off nan lawsuit unfastened to "support an information of nan effectiveness" of nan Autopilot update being deployed to reside nan issue. The NHTSA has asked Tesla to taxable 8 consecutive quarterly reports, followed by 3 yearly ones, to show improved safety. ®