Road safety regulators are investigating a tweet from Elon Musk on Tesla’s self-driving features.

Musk said Tesla would turn off an alert for some owners who are testing its autopilot system, which requires the driver’s complete oversight.

As a result, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked Tesla for further details about the tweet. 

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The automaker is under a broader investigation by the safety agency taking into account 14 Tesla accidents involving emergency vehicles when the Autopilot system was used.

Tesla has been beta-testing “Full Self-Driving” since 2021, using drivers who weren’t trained on the system but are actively monitored by the firm.

Earlier this year, Tesla said 160,000, or around 15 percent of Teslas now on US roads, were taking part.

Despite the name, Tesla’s website still states that the cars are not autonomous.

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Teslas equipped with “Full Self-Driving” can navigate roads on their own, but experts warn that the technology is not without flaws.

Mr Musk said: “We’re not saying it’s quite ready to have no one behind the wheel.”

One Twitter user posted on New Year’s eve that those with over 10,000 miles of “Full Self-Driving” testing should have the option to disable the “steering wheel nag.”

This is an alert to drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel.

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Musk replied: “Agreed, update coming in Jan.”

It’s unclear from the tweets what Tesla will do exactly. 

Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing for Consumer Reports said removing a driver monitoring feature that automates speed and steering would risk other drivers on the road.

Tesla’s monitoring system has long been criticized as inadequate by auto safety groups and government regulators.

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Three years ago the National Transportation Safety Board found poor monitoring as a major factor in a deadly Tesla crash in California.

NHTSA stated that multiple Tesla collisions have happened when drivers had their hands on the steering but still didn’t pay attention. 

The agency noted Autopilot is being used in areas where its capabilities are restricted and that many drivers aren’t taking action to avoid accidents despite alerts from the car.

Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comments.

Source: New York Post

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