Autonomous driving: 273 Tesla cars involved in accidents in the United States

The number is impressive. Tesla-branded vehicles equipped with self-driving software have been involved in 273 crashes in the United States, according to a report released Wednesday (June 15) by the US Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA), which is currently investigating the system. driver assistance from the American manufacturer. The report focuses on vehicles with so-called Level 2 software, which is software that can accelerate or decelerate the car and turn the steering wheel if necessary, but requires an attentive driver who is ready to regain control at any time.

In total, Tesla models were the subject of nearly 70% of the reports of the 392 accidents listed, for almost all between July 2021 and mid-May 2022, according to the NHTSA. The agency nevertheless specifies that the same accident may have been the subject of several reports and that the figures published on Wednesday “are not significant data in terms of safety”. To be counted, an accident must have occurred when the driving assistant had been activated at some time during the previous 30 seconds. Another criterion is that the incident must have involved either a pedestrian or a two-wheeled vehicle (bicycle or motorbike), or the transport of an individual to hospital, or have caused the airbag to be triggered or have required the removal of the vehicle.

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Important reports also for Honda

Among the 11 other manufacturers listed, only Honda has been the subject of a significant number of reports (90). The NHTSA recalls that the number of accidents must be related to that of the manufacturer’s vehicles equipped with a driving assistance system, but Tesla is, by far, the brand with the largest fleet of this type in the States. -United. NHTSA recently expanded an investigation, which began last summer, into the potential link between Tesla’s driver assistance system and a series of crashes with emergency vehicles.

The investigation moved from preliminary assessment to engineering analysis, the last step before a possible recall. Autopilot, the electric vehicle manufacturer’s system, is supposed to help the driver follow the trajectory of the road and keep the right distance from other vehicles, but Tesla makes it clear that the driver must remain vigilant at all times. Asked by AFP, Tesla did not respond immediately.

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