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This Tesla Driving a police car parked in Laguna Beach in 2018. (Laguna Beach Police Station)

This National Highway Traffic Safety AdministrationInvestigation of Tesla Autopilot’s participation Car accident Marks a more active approach to supervision Car safety -Especially new technologies-provided by the Biden government.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Tesla’s investigation was announced on MondayAccording to its website, so far this year, 26 investigations have been conducted on various car and highway safety issues-more than 2020 or 2019. NHTSA is preparing to conduct 66% more surveys than the 25 surveys it started last year.

since President Joe Biden The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was established in January and has also accelerated the pace of investigations into Tesla crashes. Since March, nine Tesla accidents have been investigated; the most recent one occurred in San Diego last month.

“Biden chose a leadership with independent thinking and safety awareness,” said Jamie Court, president of the Consumer Regulatory Agency, a public advocacy organization based in Los Angeles.

NHTSA stated that after 11 cars using Autopilot collided with Tesla, it initiated a Tesla investigation, which covers approximately 765,000 cars starting with the 2014 model. Fire truck, Police cars or other vehicles at the scene of the collision. The accident caused 17 injuries and 1 death.

Monday’s announcement, combined with Ordered in June to require automakers, including Tesla, to report accidents Involving autonomous driving technology, it shows that NHTSA is becoming more and more radical on this issue.

“In general, this order and this particular enforcement action may be the beginning of a more aggressive security enforcement agenda for NHTSA,” said Paul Hemmersbaugh, who served as the agency’s general counsel under the former president. Say. Barack Obama Now he is responsible for the transportation of DLA Piper LLP law firm.

This is also consistent with the agency’s approach to actively increasing vehicles. Fuel economy Hemmersbaugh said it was announced on August 5.He cautioned that he did not directly talk to current officials about their plans for Tesla or Self-driving car General supervision.

‘This is serious’

Almost all U.S. automakers provide a variety of advanced driver assistance systems that can help drivers park, maintain lanes, or avoid obstacles. These systems help drivers through a combination of sensors, cameras and radars, but fully autonomous cars are still not commercially available.

In view of developments, it is very important for regulators to master emerging driver assistance technologies, especially when automakers are fully promoting self-driving car, Said Jack Fisher, director of automotive testing Consumer report.

“In a way that we haven’t seen in 50 or even 100 years, vehicle control is undergoing fundamental changes, and it’s very serious,” Fisher said. “This technology is advancing so fast that it really makes regulators scrambling to keep up. The regulators finally realize how serious this is, it’s great.”

NHTSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Tesla’s investigation indicates a more positive approach to automobile safety regulation. Tesla and Eric Williams, the company’s deputy general counsel in charge of regulatory issues, also did not respond.

Legislators pushing for stricter auto regulation cheered the agency’s decision to open a Tesla investigation. “After a series of worrying accidents, NHTSA is properly investigating Tesla’s Autopilot,” Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edmarkey said in a statement. “This investigation must be swift, thorough and transparent to ensure driver and public safety.”

Biden nominated many regulatory agencies that set more radical lines, such as Federal Trade Commission Chairman Lina Khan, who once again emphasized the agency’s antitrust enforcement.

Since 2017, NHTSA has not been confirmed by the U.S. Senate in charge. Since Biden took office in January, the agency has been led by Steven Cliff, the former deputy executive officer of the California Air Resources Board, which oversees automobiles. Emissions In Golden State.

New chairman National Transportation Safety BoardThose who are investigating highway safety issues but there is no regulatory agency cheered the NHTSA announcement. Jennifer Homendy, who was sworn in on Friday, called this a “positive step forward” and said that “NHTSA leadership took action to ensure the safe operation of advanced driver assistance systems, which encouraged her.”

Homendy challenged Tesla in a series of tweets on December 29, when she was still a National Transportation Safety Board A member of the board of directors, responsible for the marketing of the company’s so-called “self-driving” features in its cars.

“We can’t just allow these companies to do these things”

In a month 1 In a letter to NHTSA urging broader supervision of autonomous vehicles, the NTSB stated that the lack of rules has created a wild environment where companies such as Tesla are testing unregulated technologies and putting the public at risk.

The NTSB has investigated several Tesla accidents, including at least some of the accidents cited in the investigation announced by NHTSA on Monday.

The NTSB stated that in January 2018, a Tesla Autopilot crashed into the back of a fire truck on a highway in Culver City, California, partly due to the design of the vehicle.

Ben Shneiderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Maryland who studies human-computer interaction, said it’s too early to judge whether Tesla’s investigation is a sign of a more aggressive regulatory approach. But he said it should have been long ago.

“We can’t just allow these companies to do these things,” he said. The social structure and governance surrounding artificial intelligence “must be broader than Google’s claim of’trust us, we are really careful’.” Tesla is the same. “

Tesla President David Haki said that Tesla marketed its driver assistance system as an autopilot, causing drivers to think they don’t need to concentrate. Highway Safety Insurance Association, Conduct safety tests and represent Insurance industry.

“We have always called for a more proactive approach to intervene and provide guidance to manufacturers so that they don’t let us go down the road where consumers misunderstand what these systems can do,” he said. “There must be good driver monitoring.”

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