US seeks information from Tesla about camera in car in Autopilot probe

US seeks information from Tesla about camera in car in Autopilot probe

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (Reuters) – U.S. auto safety regulators on Thursday asked Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) to answer questions about the in-car camera intended to monitor driver consciousness as part of an investigation into 830,000 Tesla vehicles using advanced driver assistance system called Autopilot.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is assessing Autopilot’s performance after previously identifying a dozen crashes in which Tesla vehicles collided with stopped emergency vehicles.

In June, it upgraded its probe to a technical analysis — a required step before it could potentially demand a recall.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

NHTSA’s nine-page letter requires Tesla to answer questions about “the role the Cabin Camera plays in enforcing driver involvement/attention by Oct. 12.”

According to Tesla, the cabin camera — a camera located above the rear-view mirror — can detect driver inattention and provide audible warnings to remind the driver to keep their eyes on the road when Autopilot is engaged.

NHTSA said it was seeking information on the “impact of the cabin camera on driver engagement alert types and timing,” as well as “recoverable data elements indicating its influence.”

The agency said it wanted an explanation for “design decisions” on driver involvement enforcement, “including evidence that justifies the period the driver is allowed to have their hands off the wheel before receiving a warning.”

The regulator assesses whether Tesla vehicles sufficiently ensure that drivers pay attention. The agency said in June there was evidence that drivers had complied with Tesla’s warning strategy in most of the crashes investigated, raising questions about its effectiveness.

Tesla, which has dissolved its press service, did not respond to a request for comment.

Consumer Reports said when it evaluated Tesla’s attentional surveillance camera in late 2021, “we found that it was not enough to ensure that the driver paid full attention when the driver was using Autopilot and Full Self Driving (FSD) features.”

The magazine said it “could block the in-cab camera and the car would not give a warning, slow the car down, or turn off the systems.”

In June, Consumer Reports said the company had installed an over-the-air update that warns when the camera is covered with FSD enabled, but not with Autopilot.

Autopilot is intended to allow cars to automatically steer, accelerate and brake within their lane, while FSD allows vehicles to obey traffic signals and change lanes.

In addition to the defect probe, since 2016, NHTSA has opened 38 special investigations into crashes involving Tesla vehicles suspected of using Autopilot or other advanced systems. A total of 19 deaths were reported in those Tesla-related investigations.

Separately, California state transportation has accused Tesla of falsely promoting its features as autonomous driving vehicles.

Tesla said in notices filed with the state Thursday that it is seeking a hearing on the complaints and plans to present a defense. read more

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is looking for solutions, including suspending Tesla’s license to sell vehicles in the state and requiring the company to refund drivers.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

Reporting by David Shepardson and Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

#seeks #information #Tesla #camera #car #Autopilot #probe

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *