Fast Track Investigation Into Potentially Dangerous Tesla Autopilot Feature

Target: NHTSA Executive Director Jack Danielson

Goal: Speed up the investigation on Tesla autopilot.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a probe late last month investigating an eight-vehicle crash on Thanksgiving Day. The Tesla Model S driver pledged to the California Highway Patrol that the vehicle was in the Full Self-Driving (FSD) mode at the time of the incident. NHTSA data indicates that the Tesla Autopilot mode has gotten into 273 known crashes between July 2021 and June 2022. Ironically, the San Francisco incident occurred mere hours after CEO Elon Musk congratulated Tesla employees on making the FSD mode widely available in North America. Nevertheless, the company remains non-committal on the latest NHTSA action, more so after disbanding its entire PR department.

The Department of Transportation data also shows that the Tesla advanced driving feature has been involved in approximately 70 percent of 329 crashes in recent years. Several of these incidents resulted in serious injuries and deaths. The NHTSA reports a total of 19 fatalities since 2016 in accidents involving the Tesla Autopilot or self-driving feature. The company reports the FSD mode has been made available to more than 285,000 people in North America. Given the risks involved, these vehicles seemingly pose a serious public health crisis on America’s freeways.

In recent months, NHTSA received more than 100 complaints on ‘phantom braking’ in Tesla vehicles, causing its brakes to slam at high speeds. The technology in question, “Full Self Driving” has been deemed controversial by leading industry peers. Available as a $15,000 add-on, it banks on the reputation of Tesla, yet it might be misleading. The NHTSA has also launched an investigation on a New Year’s Eve Musk Tweet where he reportedly hints to allow drivers to turn off the manual steering wheel notifications in FSD.  Last year, the car manufacturer also opted to remove the radar and ultrasonic sensors from its electric vehicles.

By signing this petition, you can have an important role in making the roads safer from a highly controversial technology. Demand NHTSA Executive Director Jack Danielson do the needful thing and fast-track the investigative process.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Executive Director Danielson,

Your agency recently launched an investigation probing an eight-vehicle pile-up on the San Francisco Bay Bridge involving a Tesla Model S vehicle. Your agency also received more than 100 complaints in recent months from Tesla drivers about the menace of ‘phantom braking.’

The Full Self Driving mode has been a highly marketed technology, but it has been repeatedly proven to be a major public health concern. The latest data from your agency confirms 273 known crashes between July 2021 and June 2022 involving the Tesla Autopilot feature. Since 2016, 19 fatalities have been attributed to the Tesla autopilot feature.

The controversial nature of this technology requires immediate attention. We are asking you, Executive Director Danielson to speed up the investigative process and ensure optimum road safety.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: David von Diemar


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