Tesla's Autopilot system has been under a lot of scrutiny lately following reports of an unusual number of crashes involving Tesla vehicles and the possibility that the company misled investors and consumers about the efficacy of Autopilot. The United States has started a new special probe into the incident to learn more about the facts behind a recent deadly accident involving a Tesla vehicle.
The crash, which resulted in the tragic loss of life, has raised concerns regarding the safety and autonomous driving capabilities of Tesla EVs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has taken the lead in conducting the investigation.
According to the NHTSA, the driver of a Subaru Impreza was killed in the accident when it collided head-on with a Tesla Model 3. Several days later, a three-month-old passenger in the Tesla passed away from injuries incurred in the crash.
ADAS systems, such as Tesla's Autopilot, can help drivers with tasks such as steering and braking, but they do not make the vehicles autonomous. The NHTSA said it is investigating whether advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) were used during the crash.
This is the latest in a series of fatal Tesla crashes that have raised questions about the safety of ADAS systems. In December 2022, the NHTSA opened two new special crash investigations into Tesla vehicles where ADAS systems were suspected of being in use.
Tesla, on the other hand, maintains that its Autopilot system is designed to enhance driver safety and that proper usage guidelines are provided to users.
The results of the NHTSA's investigation into the recent California crash are unknown. Still, the agency said it would "take appropriate action" if it found that ADAS systems were a factor in the crash.