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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced an investigation into a fatal collision that occurred in South Lake Tahoe, California between a Tesla Model 3 and a 2013 Subaru Impreza. Sadly, two people died in the accident, including a three-month-old baby in the Tesla.
This is just the latest of a series of probes related to self-driving technology from Tesla. Since 2016, the NHTSA has been investigating at least 36 crashes involving Tesla’s autonomous driving systems. 22 people have lost their lives in those collisions.
In a statement to Quartz, Tesla states that safety is one of their primary priorities, and that their current Autopilot features require active driver supervision. Tesla’s other autonomous driving system called Full Self-Driving still requires a person in the driver’s seat, though Tesla claims no action is required for the vehicle to operate properly.
The NHTSA is also currently investigating over 830,000 Teslas with Autopilot enabled and looking for responses from the company. Another investigation into a Tesla collision with a fire truck in California, which killed the driver, began this March.
As well, they are looking into another collision in March involving a Tesla Model Y that hit a high school student getting off a bus in North Carolina, leading to serious injuries.
The NHTSA acted swiftly and in early February, sent out a recall for over 360,000 Teslas in the US due to their Full Self-Driving software potentially causing fatal accidents.
It is clear that the NHTSA is taking its duty to protect consumers seriously. It is also a reminder to all drivers to pay attention and not become complacent behind the wheel – even with the latest technology in vehicles.
It is too soon to know the outcome of the investigation into the South Lake Tahoe accident, but hopefully, it will provide answers and prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future