US Transportation Secretary Concerned about Tesla’s Autopilot Human-Vehicle Interaction

US Transportation Secretary worried about Tesla's Autopilot's human-vehicle interaction

【PhoneAuto News】US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said this week that regulators are concerned about potential risks when drivers use Tesla’s L2 level driving assistance system Autopilot.


Buttigieg made the above remarks against the backdrop of an ongoing investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into the Autopilot system. The NHTSA investigation team was established in 2021 and is currently focusing on several Autopilot-related accidents that have occurred in the past involving Tesla, investigating the potential issues in these accidents.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg said, “What people really care about is not just the technology itself, but the interaction between technology and drivers. We need to ensure that this technology can improve vehicle safety. Although it has great potential in the long run, we must ensure that it can be promoted under responsible conditions.”

The NHTSA said it is rapidly investigating Autopilot and will upgrade it to an engineering analysis by June 2022, which is the final stage before a recall or cancellation of a recall is required. However, last month, Tesla won an important court case related to accidents involving Autopilot. Jurors found that distracted driving was the culprit, not Autopilot. The jurors in the case said that drivers are responsible for their vehicles regardless of whether they use ADAS systems or not.

Tesla Autopilot

However, regulatory agencies do not agree with this view. NHTSA stated that in most of the reviewed crash accidents, the drivers followed Tesla’s requirements, thus questioning the effectiveness of its system. The National Transportation Safety Board previously stated that in 2020, Tesla’s driver monitoring system did not function and criticized NHTSA for inadequate regulation.

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