Tesla needs to address basic safety issues before expanding its so-called “full self-driving” (FSD), Jennifer Homendy, head of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that his company plans to provide wider access to FSD by the end of September, ie to enable a beta version of such a way of driving for a larger number of Tesla users.
According to the Wall Street Journal, an upgrade of the software is also expected, which is primarily designed for driving on highways, to be ready for driving on city roads as well.
Homendy did not have nice words for the way Tesla uses the term “complete self-driving” and called its use misleading and irresponsible, adding that Tesla had obviously deceived many people into misusing and abusing the technology.
However, the NTSB as a body does not have the authority to make regulations, but only conducts investigations and makes recommendations.
According to documents obtained by the PlainSite legal transparency group back in May, Tesla’s director of autopilot software told the California Motor Office that Musk overestimated the capabilities of Tesla’s advanced driving assistance system, which preceded the aforementioned FSD.
In February 2020, the NTSB concluded based on an investigation that Tesla’s Autopilot was one of the possible causes of the fatal car accident in 2018, stating that the driver, who was playing a game on his mobile phone at the time of the accident while the vehicle was on Autopilot, was actually too convinced of Autopilot ability.
The NTSB adds that Tesla also ignored their safety recommendations regarding Autopilot. The agency recommended that Tesla and five other carmakers add safety settings to their driver assistance systems to make them more difficult to use incorrectly. It was also recommended that these car manufacturers limit the places where these systems can be used.
Tesla was the only one not to respond to the NTSB, although in the meantime it has increased the level of warning to drivers if they remove their hands from the steering wheel while using Autopilot.
In the meantime, Tesla did not respond to the criticism of the head of the NTSB, and as a rule, they do not respond to media inquiries.
By: Amber V. – Zexron