National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) declares 30 Tesla crashes are linked to automatic pilot. According to US safety regulators, the Tesla assisted driving system has caused 10 deaths since 2016.
Investigators are 100% certain: no one in the driver’s seat
The safety issue has received even more attention on April 17th, 2021 when a fiery Tesla Model S crashed near The Woodlands in Texas and killed two men. On that occasion, witnesses reported that there was no one in the driver’s seat and that the vehicle owner wanted to show the self-driving capabilities of the autopilot. However, Elon Musk immediately declared via Twitter that Autopilot had not been activated since the FSD (Full Self Driving) package had not been purchased on that specific Tesla.
The NHTSA and the crash investigations program
Through its special crash investigations program, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (which has previously confirmed some specific crash investigations), published a list with details about crushes that are under review.
The NHTSA’s spreadsheet has opened six investigations into six crashes involving:
- two Cadillac with no reported injuries;
- a 2012 Lexus RX450H and 2017 Navya Arma with no reported injuries;
- two 2017 Volvo XC90 vehicles, including the Uber Technologies self-driving test vehicle, killed a woman in Arizona in 2018.
Moreover, eight investigations have been opened into Tesla crashes since March. This is the first time that NHTSA releases a full accounting of all Tesla crashes where Tesla’s Autopilot system is suspected of being involved. However, as claimed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the autopilot was operating in at least three Tesla vehicles involved in fatal accidents in the United States since 2016. Therefore, on the basis of the above, NTSB has criticized Tesla’s lack of safety for autopilot, which allows people to keep their hands off the steering wheel for a long period.