Feds investigating Tesla’s autopilot after multiple crashes with emergency vehicles

Since 2018, there have been 11 crashes with emergency vehicles involving a Tesla that was in a driver-assist mode

By Suzie Ziegler 

SAN DIEGO — Tesla’s autopilot feature is the subject of a federal investigation after 11 crashes with emergency vehicles since 2018, reported NBC San Diego. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the investigation on Monday, saying that in all 11 of those crashes the Teslas were using either autopilot of Traffic Aware Cruise Control. 

Among those crashes was an incident involving a California Highway Patrol vehicle. According to NBC San Diego, a Tesla crashed into an unoccupied cruiser that was pulled over to help at an unrelated crash. The driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. It’s not clear what type of driving assistance was being used at the time, according to the report. 

Of the 11 crashes, 17 people were injured and one person was killed. 

The autopilot feature helps the car maintain speed and lane centering, but it is still the driver’s responsibility to detect obstacles on the road, according to NBC San Diego. 

The NHTSA says it will investigate the technologies that Tesla uses to monitor and enforce a driver’s engagement while using autopilot. It was also assess the car’s ability to handle obstacles while in autopilot. 

The probe will cover Tesla’s entire model lineup from 2014 through 2021. 

RELATED: Crash, arrest draw more scrutiny of Tesla Autopilot system

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