A US federal agency is investigating a crash involving a 2022 Tesla Model S that may have been operating in Autopilot during a crash that killed three people.
Autopilot is Tesla’s Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) that performs automated functions such as steering, acceleration and automatic braking. Bloomberg first reported on the news.
The accident, which happened earlier this month, happened in Newport Beach, California when the Tesla hit a curb and crashed into construction equipment. leave the car a total loss† This is one of more than 30 accidents under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), possibly involving all of Autopilot. Of the 35 special crash investigations into Tesla since 2016 that involved the electric vehicle company’s ADAS, Autopilot has been ruled out in only three.
A total of 14 road deaths were reported in these investigations.
This month’s collision is the 42nd included in NHTSA’s special crash investigation into ADAS systems like Autopilot, a probe that began in 2016 after a fatal accident in Florida involved another Tesla Model S that had Autopilot activated.
While Tesla’s website says that “current Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous,” the company’s branding has been accused of misleading drivers of their vehicles’ capabilities. By simply choosing names like Autopilot and “fully self-driving software,” Tesla’s newer, more advanced ADAS, the company is putting drivers to sleep with a false sense of security, despite the technology being nowhere close to being completely self-propelled.