As Tesla is moving to release its Full Self-Driving beta software to its US fleet, the automaker is facing some pushbacks from US regulators.
Now the NTSB is calling Tesla’s approach “misleading and irresponsible.”
After a year of testing only with a select few customers, Tesla is finally about to release its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software to its wider fleet in the US.
US regulators are paying attention and they seem to be ramping up their scrutiny of Tesla.
Last month, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it’s opening an investigation into Tesla Autopilot over its possible involvement in 11 crashes with emergency and first responder vehicles.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has also been putting pressure on Tesla.
The agency has often investigated accidents involving Tesla vehicles, and now that Tesla is releasing its latest FSD beta software, they are ramping up the pressure.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, NTSB head Jennifer Homendy said that Tesla should delay the release:
“Jennifer Homendy, the new head of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Tesla shouldn’t roll out the city-driving tool before addressing what the agency views as safety deficiencies in the company’s technology.”
“Basic safety issues have to be addressed before they’re then expanding it to other city streets and other areas.”
The head of the NTSB called Tesla’s use of the term Full Self-Driving “misleading and irresponsible.”
“It has clearly misled numerous people to misuse and abuse technology.”
However, the agency can only make safety recommendations, and unlike NHTSA, it doesn’t have any bite when it comes to enforcement.
This is to be expected. What Tesla is about to do is significant and it is undoubtedly confusing for people who are not following the situation closely.
After all, Tesla is releasing something called “Full Self-Driving Beta,” but it’s not actually self-driving, as the driver is always responsible for the car.
As far as regulators are concerned, the system is still a level 2 driver-assist system.
To be fair, this is being communicated quite clearly to the drivers, but I understand the wider public’s concern.
While I think NTSB has been unfair with Tesla at times, ultimately, the scrutiny is going to make FSD better in my opinion.
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