Tesla investigation deepens after dozen US ‘Autopilot’ crashes

US Federal regulators are stepping up their probe regarding Tesla's Autopilot function following more than twelve Tesla vehicles crashed into first-responder vehicles that were parked over 4 years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) declared on Thursday that it was revising its initial investigation.

That was launched in August last year that was in the process of which was launched in August, to "engineering analysis", which is completed before the agency decides on the need for a recall.

The investigation encompasses the four Tesla models - Models Y, X, S and 3 which represent around 830,000 vehicles offered for sale throughout the US.

The investigation focuses upon Tesla's Autopilot feature which is intended to aid drivers navigate the roads using artificial intelligence which can detect other vehicles.

The company advises drivers to be attentive on the roads and maintain their fingers at the wheel when using Autopilot although certain drivers have utilized Autopilot while drunk.

The 16 crashes that were at the heart of the investigation occurred between January 2018 to January 2022. They resulted in 15 injuries as well as one death.

NHTSA stated that forensic evidence suggests it is likely that the vast majority drivers were at the steering wheel prior to the collision .

The agency stated that the investigation is specifically focused on whether or not the Autopilot feature actually affects "the effectiveness of driver's supervision".

NHTSA is, in an independent investigation is looking into another batch of complaints brought with regard to Tesla vehicles that stop suddenly when they are moving at high speed. 

There have been more than 750 reports to the agency in relation to the issue, however there haven't been any accidents or injuries that have been reported.

The agency has also asked Tesla for more details regarding its understanding of the problem.

The agency has been in a battle with Tesla and its controversial CEO, Elon Musk, for many years.

"If you are serious about putting safety front & center in Tesla vehicle design, I invite you to complete action on the safety recommendations we issued four years ago," Homendy wrote letter to Musk. 

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