The ongoing Tesla Autopilot crash probe highlights the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's lack of experience with electronic driver-assist systems. "It requires the Palo Alto-based automaker to file responses in the coming weeks".
The crash in Williston killed former Navy Seal Joshua Brown, 40, of Canton, Ohio. It was first known fatality to involve a Model S operating on the Autopilot system that takes control of steering and braking in certain conditions.
"Other questions include what Autopilot does when cameras and sensors aren't working properly, how the system was tested, and how it filters out "false positive events and interventions". Critics of the proposed deal said that Musk, who is chairman of that company and owns 22% of its stock, had offered many multiples more than the solar panel company was worth, and would ultimately leave Tesla shareholders paying for the inflated deal.
Now, the NHTSA is asking for more information from Tesla. The agency declined to comment, and a Tesla spokesperson said the company had "not received any communication from the SEC regarding this issue". Tesla's response was to say that the Autopilot system was a beta feature and that all disclaimers about the system were "written in super plain language", according to Musk.
In a July 10 tweet, Musk wrote that "beta" for Tesla means "any system (with) less than 1B miles of real world driving".
It was reported recently that has has been another Tesla accident in which the Autopilot semi-autonomous driving feature was activated.
But Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, said Tesla's disclosure about its Autopilot self-driving mode did not convey the potential dangers of the feature.
Also on Wednesday, Tesla said a new version of the Model X crossover, the 60D, will be priced from $74,000 United States, $9,000 USA less than the Model X 75D. Autosteer is the steering function in Autopilot.
"Tesla wants to have it both ways, hyping the image of Autopilot as self-sufficient, but walking back any promise of safety by saying drivers must pay attention all the time".
"Additionally, every time that Autopilot is engaged, the vehicle reminds the driver to 'Always keep your hands on the wheel".
Or, more likely, Tesla owners-eager to start using the high-tech software-didn't bother to read the fine print before activating it.